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Daylight savings prime time for personal injury claims

This time each year, citizens of New York and most other states endure the challenges and frustrations of the semiannual time change. Failing to remember to turn the clocks ahead leaves many arriving late for church, work or other appointments on Sunday morning. Additionally, parents of small children may have difficulty getting their little ones to adjust to the new time schedule, and it may take days or longer for people to fully acclimate to the lost hour. Not surprisingly, the drowsiness that accompanies a time change may result in more personal injury claims around this time each year.

Drowsiness is an issue for any driver but may be most serious for those who operate large vehicles. Tractor-trailers and other big rigs have a smaller margin for error, and accidents involving trucks are more likely to end in catastrophic damage, injury and fatalities. This is why the trucking industry obligates drivers to maintain a schedule that includes adequate sleep.

It may seem like an hour is not that important, but neurologists say that changing the clocks twice a year disrupts the body's natural, circadian rhythm. It may take time for the body to adapt to the new rhythm. Meanwhile, truck drivers may have to accommodate for their bodies being out of balance. This may include stopping for naps, lowering the temperature in the cab or listening to loud music while driving.

Certainly, the best option for any New York trucker is to get enough sleep at regular intervals and to see a specialist if drowsiness persists. In the event of personal injury claims, truckers may have to defend against accusations of driving while drowsy. Having a skilled attorney to assist with building a strong defense could prove invaluable.

Source: mytwintiers.com, "The risks of possible drowsy driving after Daylight Saving Time", Julio Avila, March 9, 2018

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