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Teen Drivers and Severe Risks for Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

Teenage drivers are more likely to get into a deadly car accident than any other age group of drivers. These risks come along with their inexperience and their inability to comprehend dangers associated with poor driving habits.

According to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Safety Research. teen drivers oftentimes don’t understand the correlation between drowsy driving and fatal car accidents. The study, conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC), concludes that these young drivers understand the dangers that are associated with drunk driving, but not with drowsy driving. Both of these driving behaviors produce some of the same results — deadly car accidents in Sunrise and elsewhere.
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Drowsy Driving & Teen Drivers Study:

-Drowsy driving car accidents happen most often to teen drivers.

-Among drivers who take long road trips, those who are under the ago of 30-years-old are more likely to be sleep-deprived than other age groups.

-The effects of drowsy driving are awfully similar to the effects of drunk driving.

Teen drivers understand that drunk driving is wrong and they understand the effects that it can have on roadway safety. Unfortunately, the same recognitions weren’t present for drowsy driving.

“Drunk driving is universally viewed as dangerous, but young people especially don’t understand the very serious risks associated with drowsy and distracted driving,” said the NSC’s Janet Froetscher.

What safe driving advocates are working to do is to educate drivers of all ages, focusing on our young ones, about the risks that are associated with drowsy driving. As a matter of fact, about 60 percent of drivers, or about 170 million people, admit to driving while feeling drowsy at least once in the past year. About a third, or nearly 105 million people, say that they’ve actually fallen asleep at the wheel during this time, according to DrowsyDriving.org.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are about 100,000 car accidents reported every year that involve a drowsy driver. These accidents result in nearly 2,000 roadway fatalities and another 70,000 injuries. Officers believe that the actual numbers are much higher as drowsiness isn’t always reported in an accident. And there is no test to determine sleepiness as there is for intoxication, like a “breathalyzer.”

Before school kicks off for another year, parents are urged to talk with their young drivers about the risks and the consequences of drowsy driving. Make sure your young driver is getting enough rest and knows to avoid driving whenever they’re feeling drowsy. Make sure that your teen knows to avoid driving while they’re sleepy. They should let another licensed driver drive during these times or pull over in a safe place to rest. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving! Being able to recognize drowsiness and knowing what to do in these cases can help keep your teen safe.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Sunrise, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in area, the personal injury attorneys at Freeman & Mallard offer free and confidential consultations. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Nighttime Car Accident in Port St. Lucie Lands Driver in Critical Condition, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 10, 2012

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