Sleep and InsuranceThanks to Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog for a great idea as a topic that couldn't be related to insurance.
But, Ben -- of course sleep is related to insurance!
Do you know that there are more car accidents in the week after we go to Daylight Savings Time than the week before? In fact, accidents increase by 7 percent according to an article from Capital News Online. This happens every year. Why? Because everyone on the road has a case of artificially induced jet lag. We've all lost an hour's sleep! It doesn't affect people on the weekend because we typically have a more flexible schedule then. Unfortuantely, it hits (both literally and figuratively) on Monday as a bunch of sleepy drivers meet each other on the road for their regular morning commute.
Of course, it's not just Daylight Savings Time that creates sleepy drivers. Sleep deprivation is rampant in our 24-7 world. The article from Capital News Online indicates that it's more than just a small annoyance; sufficient sleep deprivation can make you as dangerous behind the wheel as a legally-impaired drunk!
Loss of sleep doesn't just mean loss of mental acuity. Wikipedia has an impressive and frightening list of potential problems related to sleep deprivation, including diabetes, brain function impairments, mood problems, irritability, hypertension, weakened immunity, obesity, and depression.
As you can imagine, anything which impairs my abilities or judgement could also lead to accidents -- whether in a vehicle or outside of one. Accidents mean insurance claims and liability suits. The more claims an insurance company pays, the higher the premiums it charges.
So, lack of sleep in our society actually means increased insurance costs for all.
This brings me to a suggestion to our legislators: how about pushing through that idea of permanent Daylight Savings Time? It means more daylight hours later in the day and better daylight during the time when people are on the road generally corresponds to fewer car accidents. It also means we never have to have that externally imposed sleep hangover again as my least favourite harbinger of spring.
Do you need to review your car insurance? Check out our auto insurance sponsors and get a quote. Maybe if you promise them to get to bed at a decent hour, they'll give you a better rate.
Monique L. Attinger