Drowsy Driving Among Young Drivers

7 Jan 2019

One in five death-related crashes involves a drowsy driver, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research. Drivers between 16 and 24 years old are at the greatest risk.

When an individual gets behind the wheel without adequate sleep, they put themselves and those on the road in danger. Individuals who sleep six to seven hours a night have twice as much risk of being involved in a crash than those who get eight hours of sleep a night.

Teenagers often don’t realize their bodies require more sleep than adults. While the sleep needs of each person will vary, most adults require around seven to eight hours each night of sleep. Teens, on the other hand, require a little more than nine hours of sleep each night for them to feel well-rested and alert during the day.

Many teens are not getting these full nine hours of sleep on school nights. Some are even “night owls” and only sleep for about five to six hours before they start their school day, meaning they’re missing around one to three hours each school night of sleep. This results in a five to 15 hour weekly sleep debt.

Teenagers will sleep in later on the weekends to compensate for weekday sleep loss. But, this irregularity in their sleep schedule disrupts their body’s internal clock, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep at night.

The driving performance of teenagers with this ongoing sleep loss is negatively affected.

So what can parents do to prevent their teens from driving drowsy?

Prevent Teens from Driving Drowsy

Some things you can do as a parent of a teen are:

  1. Talk with your teen about how dangerous driving drowsy is.
  2. Ensure they’re getting enough sleep each night and minimize their late nighttime driving
  3. Explain the different warning signs of drowsy driving (see below) and assure them they can call you anytime for a ride if they think they’re too tired to drive
  4. Sleeps a minimum of eight to nine hours each night
  5. Doesn’t drive while sleep deprived

Educate Them on Warning Signs if they’re Driving

There are some warning signs a driver is driving drowsy and needs to switch drivers or pull over in a safe area. These include:

  1. Inability to keep head raised or eyes open
  2. Excessive yawning
  3. Hitting rumble strips
  4. Drifting out of lane
  5. Not remembering the last few miles they traveled

Use GPS Tracking

Installing a GPS teen tracking system can help you deter negative driving behavior, such as speeding. While your teen may not be too pleased with this idea, explain to them you’re doing this for their safety and not because you don’t trust them.

A GPS tracking device can help you check on things like the location of the car, its speed or even its braking and acceleration. Your teenager’s safety and security are equally important. A GPS tracking device will let you know exactly where the vehicle is should a situation arise.

Drowsy driving is just as bad as driving intoxicated — even worse. You want your teen to live a full life. Ensure they’re always safe by implementing the tips above.

If you’re interested in getting a GPS tracking device installed on your teen’s vehicle and have questions, give us a call here at LiveViewGPS at 1-888-544-0494.

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