The propensity for teenagers to sleep is often the subject of good-natured jokes, but getting behind the wheel while drowsy is no laughing matter. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Study in November 2014 revealed findings that young adult drivers are most at risk for drowsy driving, that 33% of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving while drowsy in the preceding month, and that one in five fatal car accidents will involve drivers who are fatigued. Those increased risks occur because a sleep-deprived brain functions much the same way as an intoxicated brain – with impaired decision-making skills, reduced alertness and delayed reaction times. To that end, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) maintains that a drowsy driver is driving with the equivalent of a blood alcohol content of .08%, the legal limit in New Jersey.
To combat these statistics, Cherry Hill car accident lawyers urge parents of teenagers to pay close attention to sleep patterns. Teenagers need an estimated nine hours of sleep each night to ward off daytime drowsiness according to the NSF, yet just 15% of teenagers report sleeping in excess of 8 ½ hours on school nights. The general decline in overall sleep begins in early adolescence when bedtimes are often extended, yet wake-times remain largely the same. Parents should encourage their teenagers to establish a bed and wake-time schedule that can be easily adhered to, even on weekends, because consistency leads to more restful sleep. The NSF also suggests that teenagers complete homework assignments, telephone calls and computer use earlier in the evening, thereby saving the last hour before bedtime for quiet, calm activities.
According to AAA it is equally important for teenagers to be able to self-identify drowsy driving. Repeated yawning, an inability to recall the last few miles traveled, difficulty focusing, and drifting out of the driving lane are all good indicators that a driver is fatigued. Teenagers experiencing any of these warning signs while already behind the wheel should pull over immediately and call for help.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents
If the negligence of a drowsy teenaged driver has left you or a loved one injured in a car accident, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. A Cherry Hill car accident lawyer at DiTomaso Law will assess your case for free. Call us at 856-414-0010 (1-800-367-5377) or contact us online today to begin your no-cost consultation. With two convenient locations in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, our Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Cherry Hill and Mount Holly.