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Why are Teenagers Vulnerable to Drowsy Driving Accidents?

Drowsy driving impairs a driver in ways similar to drugs and alcohol. Delayed reactions and drifting off behind the wheel are serious dangers associated with drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving contributes to more than 328,000 car accidents every year, and 6,400 of drowsy driving accidents result in fatalities. Teenagers have the highest risk among all age groups for drowsy driving accidents. The combination of the lack of sleep prioritization and erratic sleep habits shown in teens and young adults may contribute to these accidents. Drivers between 16 and 24 years old are approximately 80 percent more likely than drivers over 40 years old to be involved drowsy driving accidents.

Demanding schedules and developing circadian rhythms in young adults causes young drivers to push through their daily activities on an inadequate amount of sleep. Late night cramming and early morning classes create hardships when high school or college students attempt to drive home late at night or during the morning commute to school.

How can I Recognize Sleep Deprivation?

Often, teenagers do not accurately assess their need for sleep, especially when their focus is on being productive at work or school. Teenagers tend to push themselves to their limits, which too often leads to sleep not being a top priority.

Unfortunately, when young adults are faced with the mundane task of driving, they do not always factor in their level of sleep deprivation before getting behind the wheel. Even if they do feel tired, research shows that young adults routinely overestimate their ability to overcome the sensation of needing sleep.

The following are some cues that might indicate to a driver that it may be time to rest before driving:

  • Dozing off
  • Powerlessness to keep eyes open
  • Uncontrolled yawning
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Inattentiveness or daydreaming
  • Missing exits, turns, or road signs
  • Inability to recall the last few miles
  • Sudden realization of tailgating another car
  • Drifting into other lanes or onto the shoulder of the road

How can Drivers Prevent Drowsy Driving?

When drivers begin to feel drowsy, they may try to revive themselves by blaring the radio or rolling the windows down. Despite the immediate refreshing burst, these temporary strategies do not usually work. Fortunately, there are some tactics that will mitigate drowsy driving:

  • Avoid alcohol or drowsy-inducing medications.
  • Take a nap prior to a late-night drive.
  • Drink caffeine 30 minutes before driving.
  • Take another form of transportation, such as a taxi or bus, in lieu of driving.
  • Let a more alert friend do the driving.
  • If sleepiness strikes while driving, pull over for a quick nap.

If one is involved in a drowsy driving accident, they should speak to a lawyer. A lawyer will help one file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.

Millsboro Car Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you were hurt in an accident involving a drowsy teen driver, you may be able to collect compensation for the injuries you sustained in your accident. Our Millsboro car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. assist clients with obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.