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AAA: car crash risk goes up following daylight saving time

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that car crash risks increase after drivers lose one hour of rest for daylight saving time. Many Pennsylvania residents know that it can be hard enough already to get the recommended seven hours of sleep every night. Nevertheless, they will want to consider adjustments to their sleep schedules whenever the season for "springing forward" comes around.

In a recent AAA survey, 95 percent of drivers acknowledged that drowsy driving is unacceptable and unsafe. However, 30 percent of them also admitted to driving in a significantly fatigued state at least once in the previous month.

The National Sleep Foundation says that anyone who sleeps for less than two hours within a 24-hour period is unfit to drive. AAA goes further, saying that missing one to two hours of rest in the same period nearly doubles the risk of being involved in a car crash. The association also claims that getting five hours of rest in the previous 24 hours will lead to impairment similar to that of a drunk driver.

Sleep is the only antidote to drowsiness. Drivers can consider pulling over for a nap when they recognize the symptoms of drowsiness, which can include drooping eyelids, lane drifting and trouble remembering the last few miles traveled. Short-term tactics like drinking coffee do not work.

Someone who has been hurt in an auto accident caused by a drowsy driver may want to see a lawyer for a case evaluation. A victim could potentially file a personal injury claim against the other party's auto insurance company. Even if they contributed to the crash, the victim will be eligible for compensation as long as their degree of fault is less than that of the defendant. A lawyer may be a great asset, especially during negotiations.

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