Daylight Savings Time, Motorcycling, Crashes And Your Heart

Canadian Geese have been flying north, I saw a robin the other day, and yesterday it was over 80o at the airport. Motorcycles are out in force here in St. Louis. We leap forward into Daylight Savings Time tomorrow. Spring is definitely on its way. With ride-able weather and temperatures in most of the country over the next few days, many riders will be taking to the roads for perhaps the first time for months.

Motorcycle crashes increase in the spring—if only because there’s more riders on the roads. However, skill levels will not be at optimal levels for those of us who have been having winter dreams of summer rides. That alone is a reason to be smarter and more cautious during these first days back on the roads.

However, the change in time may bring special danger to riders in two regards:

A study done back in 1998 found that crashes go up 17% the Monday following the change to Daylight Savings Time.

And now a Swedish study released last fall found that heart attacks also increase for the first days after the spring forward—and oddly enough especially for those under 65 and women.

Researchers speculate that the change in sleeping patterns that cause both the rise in crashes and heart attacks. Medical professionals stress that everyone needs to make sure they get enough sleep to help their bodies adjust to the change in time.

While no study has been done to find out if motorcyclist crashes increase on these three days, it’s enough for the street-smart motorcyclist to know that others on the road—if not themselves—aren’t up to their normal performance levels and take special care.

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