Teen drivers face a lot of risks on the road. They lack experience since they simply haven't been driving as long as adults. They may have distractions, such as friends or cellphones, in the car with them. These are all reasons that accident rates are so high.
The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) notes that another serious risk could be a common part of life as a teen: a lack of sleep.
A study was carried out to see if the timing of school classes played a role, and it found that kids who are headed to earlier classes are more likely to be involved in accidents in some cases.
The NTHSA did admit that not all counties showed the same results, but they also called sleep deprivation a "significant factor" in these accidents. They noted that it can lead to:
-- Drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel.
-- Driver who do not notice emergency situations around them, such as other accidents or potential hazards leading to accidents.
-- Drivers who are simply not as alert.
-- Drivers who have reduced reaction times. This could lead to a chain reaction crash, for instance, when two other cars collide ahead of a teen driver and that driver, unable to stop in time, hits those vehicles.
Drivers do have a responsibility to make sure that they are fit to drive before getting in the car, and that means understanding when they're simply too tired for it to be safe. When they're negligent and drive anyway, those who are injured in resulting car accidents need to know their legal rights.
Source: NHTSA, "School Start Times and Teenage Driver Motor Vehicle Crashes," accessed Sep. 08, 2017