Could Letting Your Kids Sleep in Help Prevent Teen Car Accidents?
The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers because more car wrecks cause teen fatalities during this time than at other points throughout the year. Since our Johnson City accident attorneys know that car accidents are the leading cause of fatalities among young people, this high risk time is especially worrisome as kids are at an even greater risk of a crash-related death.
Teen drivers face a lot of dangers on the road, from driver inexperience to a tendency to make bad decisions like drinking and getting behind the wheel. Kids are also at risk of being involved in drowsy driving crashes because a lot of kids get behind the wheel when they are tired. Further, as studies have shown, young drivers may be less likely than older ones to stop and rest if they are too fatigued to drive safely.
While helping kids to make safe choices can be challenging for parents, there is one simple thing that you may be able to do to reduce the chance of your teen injuring himself or others in a car wreck: letting your teen sleep in.
Teen Drivers Not Getting Sufficient Sleep
Recently, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reported on a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. The study was conducted by researchers from the George Institute for Global Health, located in Sydney, Australia. It focused on teens, drowsy driving dangers and teen safety.
According to the study, many teens are not getting enough sleep. Adolescents generally need between 8 ½ and 9 ¼ hours of sleep each night in order to ensure that they get enough rest and aren’t impaired by fatigue. Unfortunately, many teens do not sleep for this long. This leads to an increased risk of an auto accident. In fact, the study showed that a teen who got just six hours of sleep per night instead of eight or more was at a significantly greater risk of running off the road and being involved in a wreck.
The study also revealed that drowsy driving accidents among teen drivers are most likely to occur between the hours of 8:00 pm and 6:00 am. Early and late-night driving are most dangerous because teens are likely to be tired from getting up too early or falling asleep after a long day.
Many teens are facing these drowsy driving risks due to school, sports and work keeping them up late. During the school year, there is not a lot that can be done about this if kids have commitments that must be met. Parents can, however, let their kids get catch up sleep on the weekends in order to get the sleep they miss when busy with school tasks. Researchers suggest that this can be a good thing and that parents should consider letting kids sleep in.
While kids aren’t in school during the 100 deadliest driving days during the summer, they may still be getting insufficient sleep due to working and being out enjoying the summer nights with friends. Making sure your kids get home at a reasonable hour if they have to get up the next day can be a good way to reduce the dangers of drowsy driving and to lessen the chances of a serious or fatal accident occurring.
If you are in an accident in Johnson City, Tennessee, contact Meade Injury Law Group today at (423) 464-7779 for a free consultation.