Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC

Over $8,000,000 in verdicts and settlements in past 3 years.
More than 60 years of combined experience.

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End of daylight saving time presents drivers with risks

The end of daylight saving time gives everyone an extra hour to sleep, but what many drivers in Montana don’t know is that the end of DST can have as much of a negative impact on road safety as does the beginning. Studies have shown there to be an increase in fatal crashes after both the start and end of DST.

Getting adjusted to less light

For one thing, the end of DST puts a lot of drivers in the dark as they come home from work, and everyone knows what the dangers of night driving are: reduced visibility, impaired depth perception, glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic and so on. Alternatively, drivers may now have to face the glare of the setting sun during their evening commute. Many people have trouble adjusting to these changes, raising their risk for an accident.

Tips for reducing crash risk

Drivers should not change up their sleep schedule once DST ends. They should not stay up but rather go to bed the same time they normally do. After waking up, they can perform some light exercises and drink a caffeinated beverage together with water or juice to keep themselves hydrated. On the road, they should be extra careful around intersections, crosswalks and bus stops to watch for any drowsy pedestrians or bicyclists. It’s important to never tailgate, speed or drive too fast for weather conditions.

It’s around this time that drivers should winterize their vehicles and take care of a few maintenance tasks, such as replacing the wiper blades and filling up the wiper fluid. Their vehicle should carry an emergency kit with blankets and heat packets, and tires should be winter tires.

Filing an auto accident claim

The motor vehicle accident you were in may have been caused by a drowsy driver, in which case that driver would be at fault. Even if you partially contributed, though, Montana recognizes the rule of comparative negligence, so you can be eligible for compensation as long as your degree of fault does not surpass the defendant’s. A lawyer may assist with the filing process and answer your questions.