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AAA: daylight saving time raises car crash risk

Drivers in California who do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night should be careful while behind the wheel. Drowsiness becomes even more problematic with every daylight saving time since the arrival of that season means losing one hour of rest. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety thus encourages all drivers to adjust their rest schedules prior to daylight saving time.

If they do not, they could become drowsy drivers and raise their car crash risks. The National Sleep Foundation says sleeping less than two hours makes one "unfit to operate a motor vehicle." AAA goes further and says getting only five hours of sleep in the previous 24 hours will make motorists just as dangerous as drunk drivers.

In a recent AAA survey, 95 percent of respondents said they view fatigued driving as unacceptable. Yet three in 10 respondents admitted that they drove at least once in the month prior in such a tired condition that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. AAA warns against relying on short-term solutions to drowsiness like drinking caffeinated beverages. It also recommends drivers to be aware of the drowsiness symptoms, such as yawning, lane drifting and drooping eyelids.

Someone who incurs auto accident injuries due to a drowsy, drunk, distracted or speeding driver may be able to file a claim and be reimbursed for their damages. Even if they were partially to blame, the victim could be eligible so long as the defendant's degree of fault is greater. The filing process is difficult, though, so a victim may want a lawyer to assist with the negotiating process.

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