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AAA: end of DST heightens risk for drowsy driving

Drivers in West Virginia may have noticed how they are drowsier after the end of daylight saving time than before in spite of the additional hour of sleep they enjoyed. There is a good reason for this: The body has its internal clock disrupted by the change, so one will naturally feel tired while the body readjusts.

To make matters worse, many people stay up late the day before the change in order to take advantage of that extra hour. AAA recommends that everyone go to bed the normal time the night before the end of DST and watch out for the signs of drowsiness behind the wheel. Drivers may, for instance, suffer from reduced alertness and slower reaction times.

According to AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 96% of respondents agreed that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. Yet 27% admitted to driving at least once in the past 30 days in a condition where they had trouble keeping their eyes open. Drowsy driving is a factor in some 328,000 car crashes every year in this country.

Drowsiness can also increase when drivers, due to the sun setting sooner, find themselves commuting home in the dark. The lack of visibility also puts pedestrians and bicyclists at risk for a collision.

Those who are involved in a traffic accident and did not contribute 50% or more to the accident can file a personal injury claim to be reimbursed for their medical bills and other losses. Before filing, though, they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case and determine how much they might be eligible for. Any degree of fault will, of course, lower the amount in damages. Victims who wish to proceed may have their lawyer negotiate on their behalf for a settlement.

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