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Daylight Saving Time and The Hidden Dangers on California Roads

As Californians adjust their clocks each March to Daylight Saving Time (DST), they are unwittingly exposing themselves to greater risks on the roads and in their workplaces. While daylight saving time is designed to extend daylight hours into the evening, its potential to disrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythms may lead to an increase in accidents across the Golden State.

The disruptive change of daylight saving time

The change to daylight saving time can significantly alter our internal clocks, affecting our alertness, reaction times, and decision-making abilities. Even losing just an hour of sleep can have profound impacts, especially for drivers who rely on sharp cognitive functions to navigate California’s busy highways and roads.

Increase in traffic accidents linked to daylight saving time

Research has consistently shown an increase in car accidents after the transition to daylight saving time. This trend underscores the need for greater awareness and possibly a reevaluation of the practice itself.

Daylight Saving Time and Accident Risks in California: A Broader Perspective

While the focus is often on the increased risk of traffic incidents, the implications of daylight saving time extend far beyond the roads.

Economic and wildlife impact

The consequences of the daylight saving time adjustment are felt in several sectors. Encounters with wildlife, particularly deer, are experiencing a marked increase, leading to more collisions. The economic cost, including damage to vehicles, infrastructure and property, is substantial: estimated to reach nearly $1.2 billion annually in the United States.

Human cost: injuries and lack of sleep

The possible elimination of daylight saving time could prevent thousands of traffic-related injuries each year. These injuries cover a wide range and affect both drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. At the heart of these problems is lack of sleep, a major factor in driving performance. Loss of sleep, even just an hour, can impair cognitive functions at levels comparable to being legally intoxicated.

The call for reassessment

Given the evidence of the adverse effects of daylight saving time on road safety and public health, there is a growing call to reevaluate its usefulness. The tradition, initiated with positive intentions, now poses significant challenges that warrant a thorough review to mitigate its unintended consequences.


Daylight saving time, while established with beneficial goals in mind, has revealed a number of hidden dangers, particularly on California roads. The data points to a clear increase in traffic incidents and broader negative impacts following the change to daylight saving time. This calls for a critical reassessment of the role of DST in modern society, with a view to improving safety and well-being.

At Tofer & Associates, we have extensive experience handling several types of personal injury cases. We are dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Don’t navigate this alone. Contact Tofer & Associates today for a free consultation. Call us at (800) 291-9000 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your specific case.

Personal Injury Attorney Alex ToferALEX TOFER

Alex Tofer, the founder and managing partner of Tofer & Associates since 2001, specializes in personal injury cases but also adeptly represents clients in premises liability lawsuits and lemon law matters throughout California. For inquiries regarding this article or legal assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.


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