California residents may feel drowsy after the change to daylight saving time, but they may not think that it poses any real safety risk. A study from the University of Boulder Colorado, however, has found that there are 6% more fatal car crashes nationwide in the first week of DST than in the week before it. This amounts to 28 more fatal accidents every year, not to mention the crashes that occur that do not end in death.
The number of fatal crashes goes up 8% in the westernmost regions of every time zone. Researchers believe this to be the case because the sun goes up and sets later in these regions. Many residents, then, will find themselves commuting in the dark after the switch. Researchers say that the spike in collisions is not coincidental as it moved along with the beginning of DST when the latter was rescheduled for March in 2007 (it was originally in April).
Previous studies have shown a correlation between the start of spring DST and a greater number of cases involving heart problems and on-the-job injuries. This new study, incidentally, has come out at a time when several states have begun to think about eliminating DST altogether. Of course, the question is whether one sticks to permanent standard time or permanent DST.
When a motor vehicle crash involves a drowsy driver, an injured victim may have good grounds for a personal injury case. Not being at fault, they may get compensation for their medical expenses, the wages lost during recovery and other monetary and non-monetary damages. To ensure a strong case, though, a victim may want legal representation. This may come in handy during negotiations. If these fail to produce a fair settlement, an attorney may litigate.