Each spring, daylight saving time (DST) challenges people to adjust to losing one hour of sleep. The time shift may cause dangers for drivers. According to a study conducted at the University of Colorado, fatal car accident rates increase by approximately six percent in the week following DST.
Drowsy driving is not just a problem for overnight truck drivers. Too many drivers regularly get behind the wheel when they are overtired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drowsy driving results in 100,000 reported collisions each year, causing more than 1,500 fatalities. In a study that was done by the American Automobile Association (AAA), two-fifths of the respondents admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once.
People need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Cutting that short can affect the abilities to focus, react, and make good decisions, which are essential for safe driving.
When drivers are overtired, they can make mistakes that lead to accidents. It is common for individuals to brush off the effects of sleepiness. When motorists ignore fatigue while traveling, it is extremely dangerous.
Motorists should maintain a regular sleep schedule. Driving in the middle of the night is not common for most people. If it is necessary to drive when it is dark outside, motorists should be mindful of signs of fatigue.
During a long drive, a nap break may be helpful. It is wise to plan a break every two hours to get out and stretch. Yawning, eye-rubbing, and momentary loss of focus can be signs that it is time to pull over. Even a quick nap can make a huge difference.
It may help some motorists to drink caffeine before driving, leaving time for the energy boost to take effect. Opening the windows may help drivers to stay alert as well. It is important to note that these are short-term fixes; the most helpful and safest solution is to get enough sleep.
Drivers should also avoid medications that might cause sleepiness. Additionally, drinking alcohol should be avoided.
Drivers should sleep earlier ahead of time to prepare for DST. On the Saturday night before DST, drivers should leave enough time to get enough sleep. If it is possible, motorists should aim for a gradual transition by going to bed 15 minutes earlier over the course of several nights.
Also, remain mindful of the effects of DST. Focusing on safety allows for good driving practices. If one is hit by a drowsy driver, they may be eligible to file a personal injury claim with the help of a lawyer.
Drowsy driving increases around DST, which puts motorists at risk. If you were hurt in a drowsy driving crash, a Millsboro car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. Being hurt in an accident can impact your financial and physical well-being, and we can help you seek damages to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.