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You were injured in a car wreck in Colorado, and you found out the other driver was inattentive. Inattention can be caused in a number of ways, and one of them is drowsiness. At least twice a year, the number of drowsy drivers goes up nationwide: the “spring forward” to daylight saving time and the corresponding “fall back.”

If the accident took place shortly after the spring switch, then the loss of one hour of sleep may have contributed to the other driver’s negligence. A recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder has examined the link between daylight saving time and fatal crashes in particular.

Current Biology publishes new study on DST

In this study, researchers analyzed crashes that took place in the U.S. between 1996 and 2017. Every year, there was a consistent increase in fatal car accidents: a rise of 6% in general and a rise of 8% in those areas that lie on the westernmost edge of each time zone.

Residents of these areas sleep less than residents elsewhere, so DST wreaks more havoc on their driving. Fortunately, no one in Colorado is near the edge of the Mountain Time Zone. The residents of St. George, Utah, for example, run a higher risk.

Drowsy driving a serious safety concern

Regardless of where one lives, DST can lead to drowsy driving. This can be as serious as drunk driving; they share similar effects, in fact. Drowsiness impairs drivers’ attention and ability to both assess risks on the road and avoid them.

What a personal injury lawyer may do

Since your case involves a personal injury, you may be able to file a claim against the drowsy driver who caused the crash. You must share less than 50% of the blame for the crash to be eligible for damages. To see if you are eligible, then, you may want to consult a lawyer. If a case can be pursued, the lawyer may speak on your behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom in an attempt to get the auto insurance company to pay out a reasonable settlement.