Sleep Deprived Teens More Likely to Fall Asleep at the Wheel
"The new survey reminds teens and parents that road safety begins with a good night's sleep," said Dave Melton, director of Transportation Technical Consulting Services at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, Mass.
"As parents we tend to equate safe teen driving with sober driving, but fatigue should be an equal cause for concern," said Melton. "Together we need to raise awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of drowsy driving in our communities and schools, to ensure our children are getting the rest they need and provide them with the tools to know what to do if they are on the road and tired."
Sufficient sleep is the best antidote to drowsy driving. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens should be getting between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of sleep to be fully rested, but due to classes, after school activities and social lives most teens are getting much less. The Liberty Mutual/SADD study found that teens get an average of 7.4 hours of sleep per night, the least amount (7.2 hours on average) coming on school nights (Sunday-Thursday).