Insurance Blog
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:02

Teens and Drowsy Driving Alert

Baldwin Welsh Parker 37864463 sDrowsy driving is a serious issue for time-starved drivers today, especially teenage drivers, according to the latest research:

  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that between 2010 and 2015, more than 1,300 drivers aged 25 and younger were involved in fatal drowsy driving crashes in the United States
  • According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in five fatal crashes involves a drowsy driver, and drivers aged 16 to 24 are at the greatest risk for being involved in a drowsy driving crash.
  • A CDC report indicates that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States

The NTSB recently published a blog post about a teenage driver who lost control of her vehicle just over a year ago at about 1:57 in the afternoon. While driving with three other teenage passengers in the car, she lost control of the car and collided with a semitrailer on the opposite side of the highway. The driver was seriously injured, and her three friends died. NTSB investigators determined that that the driver’s loss of control was due to inattention resulting from her fatigue; they discovered that during "the 24 hours before the crash, the driver had very little opportunity for sleep—only about 5 hours on the morning of the crash."

What can parents do to keep teens safe?

Lack of sleep is the leading cause of drowsiness while driving. It slows reaction time as well as reduces lack of focus while driving. As a result of the alarming number of teen accidents and fatalities due to drowsy driving, the NTSB has released a new safety alert: Drowsy Driving Among Young Drivers. The alert outlines steps that both parents and teens can take to stay awake and responsible behind the wheel. The safety alert lists the following tips for parents:

  • Help teens create a good environment for sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends keeping electronic devices such as TVs, video games, computers, and cell phones out of teens’ bedrooms. Research shows that doing so leads to longer sleep times.
  • Advocate for later school start times. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that middle and high schools delay the start of classes to 8:30 a.m. or later. Earlier school start times are associated with higher risk of teen crashes.
  • Teach new drivers that drowsy driving can be as risky as driving drunk, drugged, or distracted.
  • Plan ahead to ensure that teens have a safe ride to and from late night and early morning events.

Download the full safety alert (SA-061 February 2017)

*Original Article Author: By Dr. Jana Price | Original Article Source: NTSB.gov

*Some parts of this article may paraphrased or are direct quotes of the original author and original blog post at NTSB.gov. Both the author and the source are credited in this blog post. Baldwin | Welsh & Parker does not claim to be the author, and shares this article for information purposes only as part of its mission to offer breaking news that may be deemed helpful to readers.

Read 1133 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 16:49

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