Drivers in Texas can certainly benefit from the one hour of sleep they gain with the end of daylight saving time, but they should know that risks are involved. Changes in sleep patterns give rise to drowsiness, which can affect driving for at least a day or two after they occur. The end of DST also causes some people to stay up late the night before and think that the extra hour will make up for it, but this also leads to drowsiness.
Another problem is that with the end of DST, many drivers will be making their commute home in the dark. Night driving, as everyone knows, is fraught with dangers. It makes sense, then, that the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia reports that car crashes during the late afternoon commute are more frequent in the two weeks after DST ends than in the two weeks leading up to it.
Drowsy drivers find it harder to concentrate, be alert and react to hazards, raising their risk for a crash. Every year, on average, there are 328,000 drowsy driving crashes in the U.S. These end in some 6,400 fatalities and 109,000 injuries, 50,000 of them debilitating injuries. As for how to reduce drowsy driving, it appears that raising awareness is not what’s needed; most drivers know that it is wrong.
Drowsy driving is a form of negligence. Whenever negligence is behind car crashes, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own can file a claim against the responsible driver’s auto insurance company. If they were partially at fault, victims will not necessarily be barred from recovery, but the amount they do recover will be proportionate to that degree of fault. Before moving forward with a claim, it may be wise to see a lawyer for advice.