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AAA links daylight saving time with heightened crash risk

With daylight saving time comes the loss of one hour of sleep. While most people in New York may only feel inconvenienced by it, they should know that the resulting drowsiness can make a difference on the road. Everyone needs at least seven hours of rest. Drivers who miss one to two hours of rest in the previous 24 hours will nearly double their chances of a car accident.

That is according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA goes further and says that those who only get five hours of sleep in a 24-hour period will be as impaired behind the wheel as a drunk driver. The National Sleep Foundation states baldly that sleeping less than two hours makes one "unfit to operate a motor vehicle."

Yet in a AAA survey, three in 10 respondents admitted that they drove in a significantly tired state at least once in the previous month. Drooping eyelids, constant yawning and lane drifting are all signs of drowsiness that drivers must be able to recognize.

When such symptoms arise, drivers may need to get off the road rather than relying on short-term tactics like drinking caffeinated drinks. Sleep is the sole antidote to drowsiness. AAA recommends schedule adjustments prior to daylight saving time.

Many motor vehicle crashes occur because of drowsy driving. However, it can be difficult to prove that a driver was drowsy. Still, those who incur injuries or vehicle damage through the fault of another may be eligible for compensation. It's often possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party's auto insurance company. This is a big step, though, and it is usually not taken without legal counsel. A victim may have their lawyer negotiate for a fair settlement.

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