Some Texas residents may feel fine after losing one hour of sleep with daylight saving time, but others are affected to the point where they drive drowsy. This, in turn, can lead to more car crashes. In fact, a study from the University of Colorado Boulder calculates that there are 6% more fatal crashes in the first workweek after DST than in the week before. In other words, every year there are around 28 fatal crashes linked with DST.
The risk is even greater the further west one lives in a time zone, the reason being that the sun rises and goes down later in these regions. Researchers found that these regions experience 8% more fatal car crashes after the spring change. The switch has been found in previous studies to contribute to more cases of heart issues and on-the-job injuries.
Researchers are convinced that the link is not coincidental. They state that the annual spike in fatal crashes moved in 2007 at the same time that the start of DST was pushed forward from April to March. As for the “fall back,” this also results in more crashes, but these mostly take place in the evening due to the earlier sunsets. Some states are currently thinking about abolishing DST because of these health and safety risks.
Ultimately, it is up to drivers whether they want to be negligent behind the wheel or not. Drowsy driving being a form of negligence, it can open the way for claims on the part of those who are injured in car accidents through little or no fault of their own. Their chances of achieving a fair settlement may go up if they hire legal representation. Personal injury lawyers usually have teams of investigators and other third parties who can help strengthen a case.