As we ‘spring ahead’ into Daylight Savings Time, we lose that one hour of sleep in exchange for that extra hour of daylight. But according to AAA, the Monday after we set our clocks ahead also find that drivers may not be fully alert on the road during the Monday morning commute.
Recent years’ Virginia crash data for the Mondays before and after the time change show an 11.6 percent increase (469 crashes on average before, 523 after) in accidents after the clocks are moved up an hour.
Many drivers on the road are already sleep deprived and the time change compounds the problem. ‘Drowsy driving’ has become a very dangerous issue. In a newly released poll by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third (32%) of all respondents say they drive drowsy at least once a month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving results in an average about 30,000 crashes and 1,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 12.5% of fatal crashes, many of these drivers drifting out of their lanes or off the road. Drowsy driving is very much like driving under the influence - decreasing awareness, slowing reaction time, and impairing judgment. The impairment for someone who has been awake for 18 hours is similar to someone who has blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 percent. Being awake 24 hours is like having a BAC of .10 percent.
The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:
Signs of drowsing driving include drifting out of your lane or hitting rumble strips, can’t keep your eyes focused or open, having wandering and disconnected thoughts, missing signs or exits, and feeling irritable or restless. If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, pull over and rest.
Unfortunately, too many drivers continue to drive when they are sleep-deprived and you may find yourself the victim of an accident by a drowsy driver. If this happens to you, consult with a personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss. Our Virginia injury law firm has successfully represented countless clients who were injured in motor vehicle accidents.
AAA Mid-Atlantic Headquarters, Wilminton DE
To learn about what types of damages are available through a personal injury claim, take a moment to read this article which discusses the possibility of obtaining damages to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.