Columbus, OH,
17:29 PM

NBC4: Daylight Saving time can mean increase in emergency room visits

If you feel a little drowsy Monday morning, it's probably due in part to Daylight Saving time happening on Sunday, where we'll all "spring forward" an hour. Sure, the extra daylight in the evening is nice, but it can make for some groggy mornings as we adjust to the lost hour.

But it’s more than just being a little extra tired those first few days. Michelle Kincaid, MD, a trauma surgeon at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, said it’s also a time when emergency departments start to see more patients who have suffered accidents.

“Whether it’s car accidents, motorcycle, ATV, (it’s) related to Daylight Saving, but also it’s usually the time of year when the weather gets nicer and people are doing more risky behaviors,” Dr. Kincaid told NBC4 reporter Olivia Fectau recently.

And this isn’t just the day after springing forward. Dr. Kincaid said told Fecteau that the effects of the time change can last for several more days.

Falling back an hour in the autumn months can also have an effect, too.

“There’s some people that looked at the fall Daylight Saving, and maybe an increase in pedestrians being hit by cars. It’s a little bit darker sooner and people aren’t paying as close attention when they’re driving,” Kincaid told NBC4.

So what can people do to avoid needing to visit an emergency room following Daylight Saving time and beyond?

“Certainly being cognizant of maybe a lack of sleep the night before, always avoiding drugs and alcohol when driving, and certainly distracted driving is a big problem that we’re seeing,” Dr. Kincaid said.

You can watch the full story from NBC4 in the video player above.