If you’re the parent of a teen driver, listen up. You teen NEEDS to sleep. It might be frustrating to watch your teen sleep until noon or 1pm on some Saturdays, but according to the latest driving statistics, that sleep could not be more important to their safety on the road.
The AAA Foundation recently completed a study that found that drivers whom slept for six to seven hours a night had a 1.3 times risk for a crash, five to six hours had a 1.9 times risk, four to five hours had a 4.3 times risk, and less than four hours of sleep had a 11.5 times risk for a crash.
And don’t let yourself off the hook either. That data is not just for teen drivers, but for all drivers. Symptoms of drowsy driving can include having trouble keeping your eyes open, drifting from lane to lane, or not remembering part of your drive. Though the study from AAA showed that over half of the drivers studied that were involved in fatigue-related crashes did not experience fatigue symptoms before their crash.
So, what can you do to prevent fatigue related accidents? Get more sleep, obviously, but it can also be beneficial to travel with an alert passenger, to take a break or switch drivers ever 100 miles, and to travel when you’re normally awake.
Teen drivers are already more susceptible to crashes due to a wide range of distractions. Don’t let lack of sleep be an additional burden on you or any of the young drivers in your household.