Avoiding drowsy driving due to daylight saving time

Drowsy driving becomes a problem every year in Arizona after residents "spring forward" for daylight saving time. Losing one hour of sleep may not seem like much, but it can have a large effect. The usual recommendation is that drivers get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, getting one or two fewer hours than that in a 24-hour period can double one's chances of being involved in a car crash. 

In a AAA survey, 95 percent of the people recognized that drowsy driving is unacceptable and unsafe behavior. Yet 3 in 10 respondents admitted to driving drowsily at least once in the month prior. This presents some cause for concern. AAA has even stated that getting only five hours of sleep in the previous 24 hours will make one act behind the wheel like a drunk driver.

The only way to avoid drowsy driving is to get adequate sleep. AAA recommends that all drivers adjust their sleep schedules in preparation for daylight saving time. There are short-term tactics for reducing drowsiness, such as drinking coffee or rolling down the windows, but these ultimately will not work.

A driver should also be able to recognize the signs of drowsiness. These include drifting in and out of lanes, having trouble keeping one's eyes open and not remembering the last few miles that one has traveled.

Many tired individuals who cause motor vehicle accidents will lie to the police, so drowsy driving tends to be underreported. It can also be hard to use drowsy driving in a personal injury claim. Accident victims who are not to blame for their injuries and vehicle damage may want to see a lawyer, who, in turn, may hire investigators to gather whatever proof exists of negligence. Once the case is ready, an attorney may proceed to negotiations.

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
  • Maricopa Country Bar Association
  • State Bar Of Arizona
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit

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