In a few weeks, it’ll be time to turn back our clocks for daylight saving time. Many people look forward to this time, as it means that we get the wake up an hour later than we normally do.
What most people don’t think of is the fact that it also means more people will be leaving work an hour later than they are used to, meaning that it will be darker than usual or even pitch black. How does this increase the risk of car accidents?
For one, it’s a well-known fact that driving at night or when it’s dark is more dangerous for a variety of reasons:
- Inability to see
- Construction on the road
- Rush hour
- Impaired drivers; and
- Fatigued driving
Disrupting the Sleep Cycle
Whichever way the clock moves, daylight saving time still means there will be disruption in sleep schedules, and those behind the wheel are not immune. The body naturally produces melatonin when it's dark out, the chemical responsible for the sleep-wake schedule and what makes us tired at night.
This can be dangerous for those behind the wheel and others on the road. According to the National Safety Council, fatigued driving is similar to driving under the influence, as it affects a driver’s ability to see the road, react quickly, and make sound decisions.
Ways to Avoid Fatigued Driving
In order to help your body become more adjusted to the time change and avoid drowsy driving, it is recommended that drivers:
- Get a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night
- Avoid driving at night
- Avoid driving alone
- Pull over and take a short rest break
- If needed, use caffeine for a quick boost
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, we can help determine negligent parties and fight for your rights to compensation in and out of court.
Contact Briggle & Polan at (512) 400-3278 to schedule your free consultation.