Young drivers below the age of 21 may be at a high risk of driving while fatigued or drowsy, increasing their risks of being involved in a car accident. Those findings come from a new study by the National Sleep Foundation.
The National Sleep Foundation recently released the results of a new study that specifically focused on the effects of drowsy driving on teenage drivers. The findings of the study were released in time to coincide with Drowsy Driving Awareness Week in November.
According to the National Foundation study, drowsy driving is linked to as many as 20% of all fatal car accidents in the United States and another 13% of all car accidents resulting in personal injuries. As many as 16% of teenage drivers admit to having operated a motor vehicle while drowsy or sleepy at least once. That makes it at least 1 in 16 drivers or 1.7 million teenagers who have operated a car when they were so sleepy that they could barely keep their eyes open. As many as 400,000 teenagers admitted to having operated a motor vehicle while drowsy at least once a week. That makes it a higher percentage of drowsy teenage drivers on our roads compared to drowsy adults.
Among teenagers, the biggest causes of drowsy driving include early start times at school and lack of sleep due to job responsibilities. If your teenager works a job, he or she is much more likely to drive while sleepy with 25% of teenagers with a job admitting to driving while fatigued, compared to 10% of teenagers without a job. Other common reasons for drowsy driving included travel as well as social responsibilities. Teenagers are likely to get less sleep than they need because of their smartphone addiction. Constant use of social media and gaming means that teens may use their devices till late in the night, and may have to wake up early for school the next day, resulting in fewer numbers of sleep hours than the recommendation. Sleep authorities advise that teenagers get at least eight to ten hours of sleep every day.
Many teenagers in the study also believed that drowsy driving was not as risky as drunk driving. While 95% of the teenagers believed that drowsy driving was risky behavior, they were not very likely to believe that drowsy driving actually results in personal injuries or wrongful death. This is dangerous thinking because the effects of drowsiness on a person’s ability to drive a car safely is similar to the effects of alcohol or drugs.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages. You may qualify for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.