Is it hard to wake your teen driver up after a long night of sleep? Most parents know that teenagers have their own sleeping habits and may require many hours in order to feel refreshed. Where that becomes especially important is the balancing act to ensure a teen has gotten enough sleep to get behind the wheel.
As the school year quickly approaches, it is important to remember that teens will need to be adjusting their sleep cycle to be prepared to get up earlier. Plenty of studies have shown the negative impacts of drowsy driving and teens who fall asleep behind the wheel could cause catastrophic accidents. One study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control identified that less than one-third of high school students in the United States got the recommended 8 hours of sleep every single night. This can have major impacts on their chances of being involved in a vehicle accident.
Studies have indicated that teens who get fewer than 8 hours of sleep are one-third more likely to be involved in a vehicle accident. Losing just a couple of hours of sleep has been equated to drinking up to 3 beers. These same risks apply not just when your teen wakes up to drive to school but also after school fatigued athletes can have difficulty focusing during games and practices and this can also raise the risks of being involved in a catastrophic accident after they have finished their practices and gone home for the day.
Did you know that the majority fatal drowsy driving accidents involved drivers under age 25 and they are more common at night? Keeping an eye on night driving or limiting it in your household may be the best way to approach giving a teen driver some freedom while also reducing their accident risk.
Be prepared to talk to your teenager about how to implement safe driving strategies during this school year to decrease their chances of being involved in a serious accident.