AAA warns against drowsy driving after daylight saving time

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The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is cautioning drivers about the effects of losing one hour of sleep in the wake of daylight saving time. In Texas, as elsewhere, many accidents arise because drivers do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. AAA states that missing one or two hours in a 24-hour period can actually double a driver's risk for getting into an accident.

Moreover, AAA says that people who sleep for only five hours in the previous 24 hours will drive like they're intoxicated by alcohol. In a AAA survey, 3 in 10 respondents admitted to driving at least once during the previous month in a condition where they had trouble keeping their eyes open despite the fact that 95 percent of respondents recognized how unsafe and unacceptable it is to drive while drowsy.

Adequate sleep is the only solution for drowsiness, so drivers are encouraged to adjust their sleep schedules for daylight saving time. Short-term tactics like drinking coffee, singing and rolling down the window are not effective.

Drivers should also be aware of the warning signs of drowsiness. They include droopy eyelids, constant yawning, difficulty remembering the last few miles one has traveled and trouble staying in one's lane. Drivers should pull over for a nap when they experience these warning signs.

When driver negligence is the cause of a car crash, affected individuals may be able to file a third-party insurance claim. This means having the responsible party's auto insurance company pay for medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and whatever else is applicable. Since insurance companies will have a legal team fighting to deny payment, victims may want legal counsel as well. A lawyer may hire investigators to obtain proof of negligence before proceeding either to negotiations or the courtroom.

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