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AAA: daylight saving time raises car crash risk

Losing one hour of sleep for daylight saving time can cause many drivers in Florida to become drowsy at the wheel. This means more car crash risks as drowsiness is known to impair judgment and slow down one's reaction time. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety had a survey where three in 10 drivers admitted to driving in a severely fatigued state at least once in the prior month.

Yet in that same survey, 95 percent of drivers acknowledged how dangerous drowsy driving can be. Most also know that the usual recommendation is for everyone to sleep at least seven hours every night. According to AAA, those who miss one or two hours of rest in the previous 24 hours will nearly double their car crash risks. Driving after sleeping only five hours in a 24-hour period will make one as impaired as a drunk driver.

In preparation for daylight saving time, drivers should make the proper adjustments to their sleep schedules. No other solution exists for drowsiness but adequate sleep. Drivers should not just rely on short-term remedies like caffeinated drinks. In addition, AAA wants drivers to understand the warning symptoms of drowsiness. They include lane drifting, drooping eyelids, constant yawning and difficulty remembering the previous few miles driven.

When car accidents are caused by a drowsy, drunk or distracted drivers, victims may be eligible for compensation. If a victim decides to file a claim here in Florida, it must be within four years of the accident. They may want to hire a lawyer for the process because auto insurance companies can be aggressive in denying payment or forcing victims to accept a low-ball settlement.

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