Are early school times a cause of drowsy driving among teens?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Car Accidents

Many teenagers in Pennsylvania are getting ready for the start of a new school year. As many people know, making it to school on time means waking up early in the morning. Unfortunately, such early school start times might be causing dangerous situations for many teen drivers.

The correlation between early start times and crash rates

A study looked at data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. It compared crash rates among teens in two separate counties during a typical school year. The only difference between these two counties was their school start times. One of these schools began classes at 7:20 a.m. The other school started class at 8:45 a.m.

The results of this study found that the county with an earlier school start time had much higher annual teen crash rates than the school that started later. Shockingly, teens in the county that started school earlier got involved in 520 more car accidents than those living in the other county.

How to help teens avoid drowsy driving

Schools need to look at this study and what they can do to keep teenage students safe. In the meantime, there are ways for parents to help ensure their teenage drivers are safe behind the wheel.

One of the best ways to have your teenage children avoid driving drowsy is by making sure they’re getting enough sleep. It’s a common misconception that teenagers need less sleep than adults. Experts recommend that teens get a little over nine hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, data from the CDC shows that 68% of teenagers are sleeping less than eight hours during a typical school night.

To summarize, there could be a strong link between students driving to school early and getting involved in drowsy driving-related crashes. By making sure your child gets enough sleep each night, you can help prevent these collisions from happening.

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