Experts say that New Jersey residents should sleep at least seven hours every night. Many do not achieve this, and the matter becomes worse with daylight saving time. That's why the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is recommending that everyone adjust their sleep schedules for the time change. Among other things, this will reduce the risk of car accidents.
AAA has stated that getting behind the wheel after missing one to two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours will nearly double the risk for a car crash. Moreover, drivers will experience roughly the same level of impairment as one who exceeds the legal threshold for alcohol.
In a recent AAA survey, 95 percent said they recognized how unacceptable and unsafe drowsy driving is. Yet three in 10 admitted that in the previous month, they had driven at least once in such a drowsy state that they had trouble keeping their eyes open.
AAA is therefore advising drivers to watch out for the warning symptoms of drowsiness, which include droopy eyelids, continual yawning, lane drifting and trouble remembering the previous few miles driven. Short-term tactics for reducing drowsiness, such as drinking coffee and opening the window, are not effective as the body will eventually override the mind's attempt to stay awake. Ultimately, sleep is the sole antidote.
Unfortunately, many drowsy drivers become presumptuous and think that an auto accident will never occur. They should be aware that drowsy driving is a form of negligence and may open up their auto insurance company to the possibility of facing an injury claim. Victims of negligence, for their part, may want to obtain legal counsel before filing a claim. A lawyer could negotiate for a settlement and pursue litigation if one cannot be achieved.