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Are later school start times better for teen drivers?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Teenagers usually have tremendous enthusiasm to get behind the wheel of a car. However, enthusiasm and experience are two different things. Teens often cause accidents on Texas roads due to lack of attention. Thanks to preoccupations with cell phones and in-vehicle technology, they’re also more prone to distracted driving. Fatigued driving causes accidents as well, and the surprising root cause of that might be the start time of school.

School start times and fatigued driving

Not everyone who suffers from fatigued driving stayed up too late at night or overindulged. Sometimes, a person’s unavoidable daily routine contributes to feeling sleepy enough to cause an accident. The early start time of high school, for example, might lead to a young driver suffering from fatigue during early morning commutes.

A study conducted by researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver suggested later start times could potentially reduce problems with teens and drowsy driving. Moving the start time of classes by about 70 minutes may lead to positive results.

The dangers of drowsy driving

Drowsy driving contributes to accident statistics for obvious reasons. A tired driver might not react in time to avoid an accident. Fatigue might undermine concentration, leading to such things as being unaware of another vehicle at an intersection or failure to stop at a posted sign.

While anyone in any age group could cause a motor vehicle accident due to fatigue, teenagers might be even more dangerous when tired. As stated previously, teen drivers lack experience, and that adds to their potential danger.

Regardless of school start times, drivers of all ages have a responsibility to operate vehicles safely. A tired teen who chooses to drive instead of taking the bus could be liable for any damages caused by an accident.

If you are a teen with a schedule so demanding you feel too drowsy to drive, try to alter your routine or find an alternate means of transportation. If you have already been involved in a collision due to fatigue, consult with an attorney. One may be able to lessen the severity of the consequences.