According to a new study led by Alexandra Martiniuk of the George Institute for Global Health, young drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 who slept six hour or less per night had a 21% increased risk of being in a car collision when compared with young drivers who had over six hours of sleep. The study was based on information collected from over 20 000 drivers.
According to the study, 86% of fatigue-related accidents involving young drivers occurred at night, between 8 pm and 6 am. Young drivers who did not catch up on sleep during the weekends fared even worse; they had a 55% of being in a single-car accident.
Experts agree with the findings, noting that fatigue slows response times and makes any driver more likely to crash. In some cases, fatigue can also cause a motorist to fall asleep while driving. Although it has not been studied extensively, some experts believe that teens and younger drivers may be even more at risk when it comes to fatigued driving. Some believe that this is due to the fact that teens and younger drivers have less experience with driving, so fatigued driving puts them more at risk of a car accident in Coral Gables and other communities.
In the US, about 20% of all car accidents are thought to be caused by fatigued driving. This means that about 8000 fatalities, 1 million car accidents, and 50 000 injuries can be attributed to fatigued drivers.
According to many experts, parents play a key role in helping young drivers avoid fatigue-related accidents and injuries. Parents can help by:
•Setting a good example by driving only when fully alert and focused.
•Setting firm rules about drinking and driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving. Rules with consequences can help prevent a young driver from taking risks that can result in a car or truck accident in Coral Gables.
•Explaining to teens what distracted driving, fatigued driving, and drunk driving are. In some cases, teens may assume that having one drink is ok or may think that driving when tired are okay as long as they are not “too” tired.
•Helping your child with time management. According to many experts, teens and college students face long days of studies, social activities, and extracurricular activities. Juggling too many tasks at once and not managing time well can lead to sleepless nights.
•Getting help in situations where a child is overwhelmed or seems to be having trouble sleeping. Sleep disorders and other health issues can exacerbate the problem.
•Offering drives home late at night or encouraging tired drivers to take an alternate route home. These options can help prevent a traffic accident in Coral Gables or your community.