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AAA warns against drowsy driving after daylight saving time

Daylight saving time changes can leave many drivers in Pennsylvania feeling drowsy. This is why the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that drivers adjust their sleeping schedules beforehand. It is well-known that everyone should rest for at least seven hours every night. Skipping one to two hours of that recommended time within a 24-hour period can nearly double one's risk for a car crash, according to AAA.

Drowsy driving can impair one's judgment and reaction times just as much as alcohol. In fact, AAA states that sleeping only five hours in the prior 24 hours will make drivers act like someone with a blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit.

Ninety-five percent of respondents to a recent AAA survey said they view drowsy driving as unacceptable. However, nearly three in 10 also responded that they had driven to the point of serious drowsiness at least once in the past month.

AAA is clear about adequate sleep being the only solution to drowsiness. Drivers may try to fight off fatigue by drinking coffee, singing or rolling down the window, but these are short-term tactics and not so effective to begin with. AAA advises drivers to know the warning signs of drowsiness, which can include drooping eyelids, lane drifting and an inability to remember the last few miles traveled.

When drowsy driving is behind a car accident, those involved who are not to blame may be able to recover damages. In this state, one may file a claim even when partially at fault so long as the defendant's degree of fault is greater. Still, gathering proof of negligence and negotiating for a settlement are not things that victims may want to handle alone. A lawyer could help with this process.

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