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Daylight Savings Time: How It Increases the Risk of Car Accidents In Portland

Daylight savings time in Portland begins March 13, 2022. While Oregon lawmakers passed legislation to end time changes in 2019, certain provisions within the bill prevent it from being enacted just yet. More than just a minor inconvenience, research shows time changes increase car accident risks. Find out more about the problem, how to protect yourself, and the effort to keep Portland on Daylight Savings Time year-round.

Efforts To Establish Daylight Savings Time Stalled In Portland

People appreciate extra daylight but not the lost sleep when we ‘spring forward’ and set our clocks ahead an hour each March. An Oregon Senate Bill (SB 320) was passed in 2019, eliminating time changes in the fall and keeping us on Daylight Savings Time all year. However, some stipulations associated with the bill have prevented it from being implemented three years later: 

  • Coordination with neighboring states: In order to eliminate ‘falling back’ an hour in November, both Washington State and California had to pass similar legislation. Washington has done so but CA has not gotten around to it yet. 
  • Congressional approval needed: Even once California passes a similar bill, it will still take an act of Congress to implement the change. 

Wondering why states such as Arizona and Hawaii do not have time changes? Because they set their clocks to Standard Time. The Federal Uniform Time Act allows this type of change without special approval by Congress, but not what Oregon, WA, CA, and some other states are seeking: to make Daylight Savings Time permanent year-round.

Daylight Savings Time And Car Accident Risks

While people enjoy the extra hour they get by turning the clocks back in November, the hour of sleep they lose in March can take a surprising toll on the body. Healthline reports that in addition to causing a spike of heart attacks, it can increase car accident risks. Fatal crash rates increase by more than six percent for several weeks after the springtime change. 

What can you do to decrease your risks? You can help prevent causing or being a victim of car accidents in Portland over the next month and at any time of year by taking a few simple precautions: 

  • Avoid driving while excessively tired and fatigued. Getting less than eight hours of sleep mimics the same effects as driving after several drinks. 
  • Give other drivers plenty of space. Even if you have no trouble adjusting, they could be suffering serious impairments. 

Be extra cautious driving at night or in the early morning. This is when motorists are most likely to feel the effects of lost sleep and the most common times for fatal accidents to happen.

Contact Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys 

If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident, let Johnston Law Firm P.C. provide the trusted legal guidance you need in filing a claim. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.