Most drivers in the U.S. know that drowsy driving is dangerous. Yet 27% of drivers in AAA’s 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index admitted to driving at least once in the past 30 days in such a state that they could hardly keep their eyes open. Drivers in California should know that drowsiness is a factor in some 328,000 crashes every year, nearly a third of which involve injuries. Around 6,400 drowsy driving crashes each year are fatal.
Drivers who think they are not so susceptible to drowsiness behind the wheel may be surprised to see a change in themselves when they set their clocks back one hour for the end of daylight saving time. A disruption of one’s sleep schedule means a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm. The effect of this will be clearly felt when one finds it harder to concentrate on the road and react to potential dangers.
Many take advantage of the extra hour of rest by staying awake later than usual the night before the schedule change. This also leads to drowsiness the following day. The effects of the change can last for over a week, though. One study found that car crashes are more prevalent in the two weeks after daylight saving time ends than in the two weeks prior.
Someone who has been injured by a drowsy driver may want to file a personal injury claim. Drowsy driving is one form of negligence that can be hard to prove, though, so a victim may want a lawyer and their network of investigators and other third parties to assist them. Legal counsel could prove helpful when the time comes to negotiate a settlement out of court. If a reasonable one cannot be achieved, the lawyer may prepare the case for court.