Lack of sleep can have deadly results

tired driver Drunk and distracted driving are commonly known issues on the road, but have you heard about drowsy driving? A new study published by the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that 21 percent of fatal crashes involve drivers who are suffering from a lack of sleep.

Many drowsy drivers are teens and young adults. According to the report, more than 50 percent of drowsy driving crashes involve drivers under age 25. Many teens find it difficult to get their recommended eight to ten hours of sleep a night.

While 49 states restrict late nighttime driving for teens, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says these restrictions just aren’t enough. Three out of 5 fatal nighttime car crashes caused by drivers age 16 or 17 occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. Parents are encouraged to work with their teen to set a driving curfew that works best for the family. The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to encourage your son or daughter to get a good night’s sleep. 

To make sure your teen gets the best sleep possible, encourage him or her to try the following strategies:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid the light from cellphones and laptops near bedtime.
  • Make sure the bedroom is cool and quiet.
  • Use a fan to block out sounds.
  • Get rid of worries by journaling. Writing about anxieties can ease the mind and help your teen transition to sleep.