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Daylight saving time ends, puts more drowsy drivers on the road

North Carolina drivers may be happy to gain one hour with the end of daylight saving time, but they should be aware of the potential harm this change can cause. Disrupting the sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythm can lead to drowsiness afterward. This is why there's a rise in car crashes on the days immediately following the end of DST.

The Insurance Bureau of British Columbia goes further and reports that car crash numbers during the late afternoon commute are higher in the two weeks following DST than in the two weeks preceding it. Drowsy driving factors into a yearly average of 328,000 crashes, with nearly a third resulting in injury. This includes some 50,000 debilitating injuries and around 6,400 crashes involving a fatality.

Drivers may not feel drowsy after DST ends, but they could still feel certain effects of drowsiness like an inability to stay alert or react quickly. Another factor in the rise in car accidents is that, with the sun setting sooner, many drivers will be commuting back home in the dark and thus be contending with the dangers of night driving.

Most realize that drowsy driving is risky. In AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 96% of drivers thought so, but 27% said they did it at least once in the previous 30 days.

Drowsy driving leads not only to many car accidents but also to many personal injury claims. To see if a victim qualifies, it may be wise to consult with a lawyer. If retained, the lawyer could hire investigators to gather proof against the defendant. The lawyer may then strive for a settlement covering medical expenses and more.

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