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Ages & Stages

Drowsy Teen Drivers

Irregular sleep habits combined with inexperience behind the wheel too often are lethal for teenaged drivers and others on the roads.

Sleepiness is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents among drivers aged 16 to 29 years!

Research shows that compared with sleeping 8 or more hours per night, sleeping 6 to 7 hours is associated with a 1.8 times higher risk for involvement in a sleep-related auto accident, compared with a non–sleep-related crash. The American Medical Association (AMA )has encouraged measures to increase drivers’ awareness of the dangers of driving when fatigued and has called for studies into ways of preventing such tragedies.

Drivers Education Curriculum

Sleep experts recommend that driver education courses include specific warnings about drowsy driving. It is important to highlight this and ensure safety.

One prominent researcher put it this way:
Drowsiness, that feeling when the eyelids are trying to close and we cannot seem to keep them open, is the last step before we fall asleep, not the first. If at this moment we let sleep come, it will arrive instantly. When driving a car, or in any hazardous situation, the first wave of drowsiness should be a dramatic warning. Get out of harm’s way instantly! Drowsiness is a red alert!
Last Updated
Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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