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How Costly Could that Extra DST Hour of Sleep Be?

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This coming weekend – at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 6th to be exact – we will turn our clocks back one hour as part of the yearly ritual of Daylight Savings Time (DST). Although many of us will enjoy that extra hour of sleeping in, many of us will also lament that hour loss of daylight. But research has shown that loss of daylight can be more than just an inconvenience – it can also be dangerous, bringing with it an increase in car crashes.

Studies show that almost half of all pedestrian accidents happen when it is dark outside. Although it may be dark outside at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, there are still many people – especially children – who are outside, walking home from school or work.

Another problem with DST is that it throws off our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. This can wreak havoc on how alert a person is, something that is pivotal when a person is behind the wheel. Switching our sleep patterns twice a year – spring ahead and fall behind – can affect our alertness and cause drowsiness as we are driving.

Each year, there are approximately 100,000 drowsy driving accidents. People are killed in almost 1,000 of those crashes, and another 40,000 are injured.

There are too many drivers on the road who continue to drive despite the fact they are tired and sleep-deprived. Tragically, this leads to thousands of deadly car accidents each year and too many losses of lives. Those fortunate enough to survive a drowsy driving crash often face long and painful recoveries from their injuries.

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, contact an experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for the pain and loss your family has suffered. Our VA personal injury law firm has successfully represented many families and understand how overwhelming this loss can be.

Randy E. Appleton
Virginia Beach & Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyer
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