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AAA study links daylight saving time with drowsy driving

In New Jersey and across the U.S., people have set their clocks one hour ahead and perhaps lost some sleep in the process. According to a recent AAA study, this can mean an increase in drowsy drivers commuting to and from work. Drowsy driving is already considered a national epidemic, causing an estimated 10 percent of all car wrecks in the country, many of them fatal. This means drivers should be extra careful when heading out.

If possible, drivers should avoid the drowsy feeling by getting to bed earlier. If this cannot be done, they should exercise greater caution when changing lanes. Drivers should double check before turning and use turn signals. Since the mornings are now darker, drivers must be on the lookout for cars and pedestrians until they become adjusted to road conditions.

Glare is another problem in the early morning, but it can be reduced via sun visors and glasses with polarized lenses although the latter may be a steep investment for many. AAA also encourages drivers to watch out for more traffic, including pedestrian traffic, on their commute home. This is because more people will be staying outside until later in the day. Pedestrians should wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight to be more visible, especially at night, dusk and dawn.

When drivers cause car accidents because they are drowsy or fall asleep, they may be liable for the victims' vehicle damage, medical expenses and other losses. Before filing a claim, a victim may want to consult with an accident attorney who has in-house team of investigators and other professionals who can gather proof of negligence. The auto insurance company might work hard to deny the victim a settlement, which is why evidence is important to include in a claim.

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