Drivers in Georgia know that daylight saving time means losing an hour of sleep. While they may not think this will impact their driving, it can. Drowsy driving is already considered a factor in 10 percent of all car crashes in the U.S., according to a traffic safety study by AAA, and it is especially common during this period of adjustment.
A recent AAA study shows that daylight saving time can indeed put drivers at greater risk for accidents, sometimes fatal ones. Not only the lack of sleep but also the darker mornings and the glare contribute to this higher risk. There are ways, however, that drivers can prevent themselves from becoming another statistic.
Drivers could go to bed earlier the night before. When on the road, they can stay alert by changing lanes often, making sure to use the turn signal. Reducing glare, which obstructs visibility, is also essential; drivers can purchase glasses with polarized lenses or simply turn the sun visor down.
The commute home could also be more dangerous because the days are longer and more people will be out later in the day. Drivers should look out for other motorists and pedestrians, who should make themselves visible via reflective clothing and flashlights during the night, dusk and dawn.
Drowsy driving is a form of negligence, and drowsy drivers who cause a car accident may be held responsible for the other driver’s monetary losses. This might include vehicle damage, medical bills and lost time from work. Victims may consider getting legal representation before they file a claim. A lawyer may be able to help in calculating a fair settlement and negotiating for it with the insurance company. Lawyers might also have investigators look for proof of the defendant’s negligence.