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Drowsy driving car accidents a risk after Daylight Saving Time

Louisianans who look forward to Daylight Saving Time to get that precious "extra" hour of sleep will often think that it is not a risk in any way except to their sleep patterns, which can be adapted relatively quickly. However, research indicates that the time immediately after Daylight Saving Time can place one in a significant risk to being involved in a car accident because of a drowsy driver. Understanding this risk can help motorists be more watchful, but it will not prevent some crashes that can cause injuries and fatalities.

The time change often leads to people driving more in the dark. That can cause greater fatigue and dangers while driving. This information comes from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Because it is a subtle change, many might not think it is problematic, but it can take some time to grow accustomed to the alteration in sleep patterns and other factors.

Certain suggestions are made to remain safe. There is an increase in danger of crashes in the rush hours in the morning and evening as well as between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time affects what is known as the circadian rhythm. In these time periods, the circadian rhythm is at its lowest. A driver who is already lacking sleep will want to sleep more when their circadian rhythm is low. Drivers are advised to get enough sleep -- seven to eight hours -- before extended driving. For those whose sleep has been hindered for several days, they could need more.

There are certain indicators for drowsiness behind the wheel. For example, being on a long straightaway, being in heavy traffic and being on a long overall trip are all risks to growing drowsy. People who are involved in an auto accident will be concerned about the cause as they consider a legal filing to pursue compensation. Injuries suffered in a car crash can result in a long hospital stay, massive medical expenses, lost wages and other significant issues. An attorney can examine the factors surrounding a car accident, including whether drowsy driving played a role in the crash. They can then assist their clients in taking appropriate measures, including pursuing compensation through a lawsuit if necessary.

Source: claimsjournal.com, "Daylight Saving Time Can Lead to Driver Fatigue, Crash Risks," Nov. 1, 2017

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