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Daylight Saving Time Means More Traffic Accidents

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Turning the clocks forward not only wreaks havoc with our internal body clocks, it causes a spike in traffic accidents.

"It turns out Monday after daylight saving time is one of the deadliest days on the road," "Gridlock Sam" Schwartz, a former New York City transportation commissioner, told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

A study analyzing a decade's worth of data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System showed a 17-percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after clocks spring forward.

Daylight Saving Time Means More Traffic Accidents

"Researchers believe it has to do with the fact that many people just don't get a good night's sleep the first night of daylight saving time, and it takes about a week to get acclimated," Schwartz said.

"I saw a pattern that would occur typically on the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time would be put into effect," he said. "And I saw a lot of early-morning rush hour crashes."

Schwartz said truckers were usually involved in the accidents.

"Their reaction times aren't going to be as good as they normally are," he said.

Schwartz's advice: Drive defensively and perhaps have an extra cup of coffee.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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