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Could later high school start times improve road safety?

For many teenagers, getting a driver's license and having access to a car is a dream come true. It can provide young people in this age range with a new found freedom. While this change may be one of the most exciting things in the life of a teen, for many parents the feeling is the exact opposite. There is good reason for this since some of the activities kids this age engage in could lead to car accidents. These crashes could leave those involved with serious injuries.

There are many things that could contribute to the risk of these crashes occurring. A lack of sleep could be one of them. While the sleep issue could impact any young person, it is particularly problematic during the school year, at schools where classes start early.

Sleep And Academics

A recent study looked into the matter. The study focused on more than 9,000 students who went to eight public schools located in three different states. In addition to a reduction of tardiness and improved scores on achievement tests, schools that did not start before 8:30 a.m., also saw improvement in performance in the following areas:

  • Social studies
  • Science
  • English
  • Math

Lack Of Sleep And Dangerous Driving

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that a lack of sleep could have a bearing on the odds of a teenager engaging in risky behavior while driving. These behaviors include failing to wear a seatbelt, drinking and driving and texting and driving. The study determined that teens that got less than seven hours of sleep were more likely than those who received nine hours each night to engage in these activities.

If drowsy driving leads to a serious car accident, those who are hurt could seek compensation for the injuries and losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Since these matters can be complicated it is usually best to work with a lawyer.

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