On March 10, Ohio residents set their clocks one hour forward. This unfortunately means getting one fewer hour of sleep for many people. Official guidelines issued by the American Automobile Association advise drivers to get enough sleep before heading out on roads and highways. Experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep every night. According to a recent AAA study, an overwhelming 95 percent of drivers stated that it’s dangerous to drive without getting enough sleep. Despite this prevailing belief, nearly 30 percent of study respondents also admitted to driving their vehicles while significantly drowsy within the prior month.

Sleepy drivers often cause motor vehicle crashes. According to the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who sleep less than five hours within a 24-hour period are just as dangerous as drunk drivers.

Adequate sleep is important for maintaining good health. Insufficient sleep patterns can cause cardiac disease. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drivers who have only slept for one to two hours should not drive their vehicles. Even five hours of sleep is not enough to prevent motor vehicle accidents, based on a AAA report. Sleeping for only five hours can impair the brain and increase the chances of causing a car crash.

Victims of motor vehicle accidents often incur serious injuries that affect quality of life. That’s why someone who has been hurt by a negligent driver may want to consult with a personal injury attorney. Legal counsel could fight for a fair settlement on a victim’s behalf. Compensation could cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.