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How early school start times increase road risks

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Teen drivers have some of the highest fatal accident rates in the United States. It is well-known that young drivers pose a great risk on the roads, and their accident rate is disproportionate to their small age group.

There are many things that contribute to this, such as inexperience or the prevalence of texting and driving. But one potential factor that deserves consideration is when those teen drivers have to be at school. Studies have found that early school start times can increase the risks on the road by forcing young people to drive while they’re too fatigued to do so safely. This could increase the odds of teenagers being involved in car accidents on their way to school.

Teens tend to stay up later

There are those who simply say that these drivers need to go to bed earlier and make sure they get enough sleep, of course, rather than starting school later.

But it’s not that easy because teenagers are experiencing a significant change in their sleep patterns. During adolescence, they’re more likely to stay up late. There are biological reasons for this, as their minds and bodies develop. There are also social or cultural pressures, such as wanting to spend time with a friend group that tends to stay up late.

As such, the best way to address this safety issue may simply be to push school start times back by an hour or so. Unfortunately, not very many schools have considered this, so fatigued driving is going to continue – and so are the accidents that come along with it. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a crash caused by another driver, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.

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