Drivers in Texas may find it harder to stay awake during their commute home in the week following the end of daylight saving time. This change disrupts the body’s sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythms, and so while the body adjusts, a person will naturally feel tired. However, the risk that this poses for drivers should not be underestimated.
AAA’s 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index revealed how common drowsy driving is. A total of 27% of the respondents admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open while driving at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey. Drowsy driving is behind an annual average of 328,000 car crashes, including 6,400 fatal crashes and 109,000 involving injury.
Studies have shown that the day after the end of DST sees more accidents than the day leading up to it. The Insurance Bureau of British Columbia goes further and reports that the two weeks after the end of DST see more accidents during the late afternoon commute than the two weeks preceding it.
Besides drowsy driving, there are the hazards of night driving since the sun sets sooner after DST ends. AAA advises drivers to slow down when making their commute home at night. Drivers should not use high beams around cars or pedestrians. Headlights and windows should be regularly cleaned.
If drivers neglect to be safe on the road, then they will be responsible for any motor vehicle crashes they cause. As for those who are injured, they could file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company, but they may want a lawyer by their side. It’s more than likely that victims will face opposition from the company, but an attorney may strive for a fair settlement that covers medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and whatever else applies.