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Drowsy Driving Car Accidents Involving Teens

Many teachers and parents are unaware of the chronic sleep deprivation problem among teens.

tired St. Louis teen driver

Research shows that many sleepy teenagers suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. This may affect their performance in school and general behavior as well. This also has the potential to affect the safety of others in the community as well.

School routine, puberty and sleep deprivation

The return of the back-to-school season is challenging to some students, who find it hard to adjust to the routine. Students often have to wake up by or before 6:30 A.M. to be at school on time. This routine is often strenuous for the students, especially at a time when they are going through a physical transition that is taking a toll on their energy.

It is a generally accepted fact that teens need more sleep compared to adults. So, to fight sleep deprivation, teens should go to bed early. Puberty brings many changes to the body including disruption of the circadian rhythm, which causes the sleep to get delayed by about couple of hours and this makes it hard for them to fall asleep at a normal time. This delay, coupled with added demands of schoolwork and extracurricular activities, and various other physical and emotional changes can make the situation quite stressful.

Sleepy teenagers more prone to car accidents

Unfortunately, most teachers and parents are unaware of the chronic sleep deprivation problem among teens. However, one thing that almost everyone is aware of is that insufficient sleep not only causes problems in school but also affects safety in communities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsiness and fatigue are the causes behind as many as 100,000 traffic accidents each year. Surprisingly, more than 50 percent of these crashes are caused by young drivers. Sleepy teenagers are most vulnerable when it comes to negotiating traffic. Inexperience, the risks of driving during rush hour, and the stress of making it to school on time make them dangerous drivers. All these factors, when combined with sleep deprivation, make a perfect recipe for disaster.

Sleep requirements for a teenager

Research shows that teens should sleep for a minimum of 8-10 hours each day. A study has revealed that nearly half of the students who started school at 7:20 A.M. began to feel tired by 8:30 A.M. They also became tired during the afternoon, and when kept awake, they showed signs such as mood swings, irritability, and other behavioral problems.

Benefits of getting enough sleep

With adequate sleep, teens show improved behavior and better ability to interact socially. They are also able to perform better at school. In fact, students who get better sleep are known to get higher grades. There are also fewer crashes caused by drowsy driving.

Legal help in St. Louis teen auto accident cases

Teens can be held liable for their negligence, and made to pay damages in event of a crash. If you have been involved in an accident with a negligent teenage driver, get in touch with a competent St. Louis personal injury attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, LLC to know more about your right to compensation. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free and private consultation.

Updated: July 18, 2019