Increased Car Accidents as Daylight Savings Time Begins

Increased car accidents with the loss of an hour of sleep underscores the dangers of drowsy driving

This morning was the first Monday commute on daylight savings time this year. Roads everywhere in Gwinnett County appeared more congested than usual as I drove into my office in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Later today commuters will get off work and head home more tired than usual. Unfortunately the loss of an hour of sleep means danger on the roads here in Gwinnett County and everywhere across the country in the form of an increased risk of car accidents. 

Twenty-two years ago Stanley Coren, Ph.D., wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the public health problem involving traffic accidents and and daylight savings time. Basically, with statistical significance the numbers cited by Dr. Coren show an 8% increase in traffic accidents on the Monday following the start of daylight savings time.

The statistics on car accidents also underscore a danger at all times of the year on our roads in Georgia and elsewhere:  "drowsy driving." Noting that auto accidents decrease when daylight savings time ends, Dr. Coren stated, "[I]t is likely that the effects are due to sleep loss rather than a nonspecific disruption in circadian rhythm, since gaining an additional hour of sleep at the fall time shift seems to decrease the risk of accidents."

The sum and substance? Sleepy drivers are at an increased risk of being involved in car accidents. Please be safe when commuting, especially this evening. 

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Georgia, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury and wrongful death lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

AAA Study on Drowsy Driving Shows Dangers

AAA Study May be Useful for Georgia Car Accidents and Trucking Accidents Lawyers to Show Negligence

As a car accidents and trucking accidents attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia, who is available to handle cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia, a news story today about drowsy driving dangers is of particular interest. The study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), as reported in the USA Today, demonstrates that sleepy drivers account for around 10% of all car accidents, at levels eight times higher than previous estimates, causing thousands of wrongful deaths each year. All Georgia car accidents lawyers and trucking accidents lawyers should be aware of this study as evidence of the drowsiness of drivers in car and truck wrecks can sometimes be used to prove negligence.

The USA Today report linked above indicates the AAA study was extensive, as it was conducted between 2010 and 2013 and involved over 3,500 drivers who allowed for cameras to be placed in their vehicles to monitor their eyes for drowsiness. In the end the study showed that 9.5% of all car accidents and 10.8% of more serious accidents involved drowsiness. This is significantly higher than the reported statistics of drowsiness being involved car accidents in the 1% to 2% range that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously reported.

Georgia Car Accident Cases

Georgia personal injury and car accident lawyers should focus on the time of day in cases where liability is disputed. In deposing defendant drivers, a focus on activities leading up to an auto accident showing sleep deprivation can be a useful tool in establishing negligence. This sometimes will be apparent in early morning and late night crashes.

Georgia Trucking Accident Cases

Sleep deprivation is always a focus of Georgia trucking accident lawyers during the investigation of trucking wrecks. Federal regulations prohibit fatigued driving:

"No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle. However, in a case of grave emergency where the hazard to occupants of the commercial motor vehicle or other users of the highway would be increased by compliance with this section, the driver may continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle to the nearest place at which that hazard is removed." 49 CFR § 392.3.

Additionally, federal regulations at 49 CFR §§ 395.1 - 395.38 place limitations on the number of hours truck drivers can work and require the keeping of logs to account for time.

Drowsy driving and sleep-deprived driving is a much bigger problem and greater danger than previously thought according to this new AAA study. Please stay safe on Georgia roads and avoid driving drowsy.

If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury or wrongful death in a Georgia car accident or trucking accident, please contact Gwinnett County based personal injury lawyer Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.