It's no secret that many people in our country don't get enough sleep. They perform many activities, including driving, while drowsy.
Unfortunately, this is also a huge problem with teenagers who biologically need more sleep than adults in general, but are frequently sleep-deprived. Like adults, teens have a number of competing obligations that lead to them not getting enough rest, such as:
- Getting up early to go to school
- Sports and other extracurricular activities
- Part-time jobs
- Responsibilities at home
- Friends and social activities
When they're fatigued and drive, this significantly increases the likelihood they'll be involved in a car accident, causing victims to suffer serious injuries or death.
How Big Is the Problem of Drowsy Teen Drivers?
According to a recent study performed by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 56 percent of teens admitted driving when they were too tired to be as safe as they could; 32 percent drove sometimes when drowsy; and one in three teen drivers fell asleep at the wheel.
Operating a motor vehicle when drowsy can be as dangerous as driving when drunk—even more so for teens who lack driving experience. It impairs a teenager’s concentration, judgment, and reaction time. This increases the chances that a young driver will be the cause of a car accident or be unable to quickly take actions to avoid one.
Tips to Prevent Your Teen From Driving While Fatigued
As a parent, you play an important role in helping your teenager to be a safe driver. Following these tips can help:
- Educate your child on the dangers of driving when sleepy and teach him to recognize the warning signs. These include yawning; having trouble keeping his eyes open; not remembering the last few miles he traveled; veering into another lane; and hitting rumble strips.
- Help your teen manage his schedule so he has the time to get sufficient sleep. Be flexible if necessary by coordinating his rest time and obligations at home.
- Encourage your teenager to call for a ride if he's too tired to drive.
Car accidents caused by teen drivers are just one of the dangers you face on Florida highways and roads. If you've been injured in a car accident caused by a fatigued teen or other negligent driver, our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help. Schedule your free consultation by starting an online chat now.