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Daylight saving time can mean higher risk for crashes

Daylight saving time means losing one hour of sleep, which may pose a danger for many drivers in Missouri. Experts recommend at least seven hours of rest every night, but missing one or two hours within a 24-hour period can double one’s risk for a car crash. This is according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Moreover, getting behind the wheel after only five hours of sleep in the previous 24 hours is like driving drunk. Drowsiness can impair judgment, slow reaction times and much more. This is why AAA advises drivers to make the appropriate changes to their sleep schedules.

Most are aware of the hazards of drowsy driving. In fact, 95 percent of respondents to a recent AAA survey said they understood the dangers. However, 3 in 10 respondents to that same survey admitted that they had driven drowsy at least once in the past month. These were extreme cases in which drivers were so drowsy they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.

AAA reminds drivers to look out for the warning symptoms of drowsiness, which include drooping eyelids, lane drifting and trouble remembering the previous few miles that one has traveled. Short-term tactics exist, such as rolling down the window or drinking coffee, but the only antidote to drowsiness is adequate sleep. Drivers may want to therefore pull over for a quick nap.

A crash victim who has been injured by a negligent driver may be eligible for compensation. In Missouri, one may be eligible even when they contribute a certain percentage to the accident. With help from a lawyer, the victim could obtain compensation for damages.