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Connection between daylight saving time and deadly crashes

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A recent study by the University of Colorado Boulder revealed that daylight saving time can increase the risk of deadly car accidents by six-percent following the week after the time change.

“You’re going to be more tired. When you are more tired, your reaction time is slower, your thought process isn’t the same when you are 100%,” said Trooper Dalton Shaffett with the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Researchers from the university say that 732,835 fatal car crashes were recorded across the United States from 1996 through 2017. Researchers predict that approximately 28 fatal car crashes can be prevented each year if daylight saving time were to be eliminated.

The study found the time change to be connected with sleep deprivation and Circadian Misalignment — a change in the body’s internal rhythm.

Trooper Shaffett says driving tired or sleepy can impair driving attentively.

“Being tired enough can have the same effects of driving under the influence or being impaired,” added Trooper Shaffett.

In 2018, more than 900 car crashes were reported as a result of drivers falling asleep or feeling tired. Shaffett says one can prepare for this time change.

“Just plan ahead, go to sleep an hour earlier that way you wake up refreshed,” he said.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

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