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Changing sleep patterns might lead to accidents

The National Sleep Foundation has said that drivers who are sleep-deprived are the cause of more than 50,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities on roads in New York and across the country each year. One of the culprits of sleep deprivation is daylight saving time. One of the biggest impacts of people setting their clocks back one hour is that they get behind the wheel the next day having slept a different amount than they're used to.

According to the Mid-Atlantic Public & Government Affairs Manager of AAA, the number of pedestrian-vehicle crashes was at its peak during October, November and December in some parts of the country. Even gaining an hour of sleep can cause problems because disrupted sleep patterns impact things like alertness, reaction time and concentration. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported that 96% of drivers see drowsy driving as extremely dangerous or very dangerous, but 27% of drivers admit they've recently driven while so tired they struggled to keep their eyes open.

Prior research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown that drowsy driving is a contributor in 328,000 annual crashes. That includes 109,000 injury accidents and 6,400 fatality accidents. Among the tips for drivers during darker, longer nights are to slow down, keep headlights and windows clean, refrain from using high beams around other cars and turn on headlights earlier than normal.

People who are injured due to nighttime car accidents may have legal claims for damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law might be able to help injured parties recover for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. An attorney might gather documentary evidence or witness testimony to build a case. He or she may be able to negotiate a money settlement with drivers or insurance companies that are responsible for damages.

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