Daylight Savings Time (DST) is upon us, an early harbinger of spring. But before you get giddy with anticipation about the extra hour of evening light you will experience, realize that this transition can be a dangerous time for drivers.
It may be surprising that the loss of just a single hour of sleep could affect the human body, but the transition disrupts the Circadian rhythms of our bodies. When this disruption occurs, driving skills can be affected.
Daylight Savings Time and the risks it poses
In addition to being at higher risk for both strokes and heart attacks n the days after the clocks spring forward the hour, drivers can suffer ill effects from drowsiness. Drowsy driving has been shown to present many of the same risks as drunk driving does. In fact, AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that drowsy driving factors into 10% of all collisions.
What drivers can do to mitigate DST’s effects
Motorists should be aware that the extended daylight hours mean that there will be more cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, children and pets out and about during the early evening hours. Because of the evening commute hours, this is already a time of high traffic volume. But acknowledging the rights of others who share the road is always prudent no matter the time of year.
If you are injured in a collision
If a distracted or drowsy driver injures you, your damages could be quite expensive and costly to cover. Learning about your right to pursue civil damages after an accident can increase your chances of a successful financial settlement or judgment.