When it comes to car accidents, Louisiana is among the worst states. As the parent of a teen driver, you’re probably worried about his or her safety and wondering what you could do to improve it. One thing is to recognize the danger presented by drowsy driving. In fact, people under the age of 25 are responsible for an estimated 50% or more of crashes relating to drowsy driving.
The dangers of drowsy driving
According to figures from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, every year in the US, there are approximately 328,000 drowsy driving crashes. Of these, around 109,000 involve injuries, and 6,400 end in death. The reason for these high numbers lies in the way drowsiness impairs drivers. First of all, it impairs their ability to pay attention to their surroundings, and it delays their reactions.
In cases of severe fatigue, a person may experience short, involuntary bursts of inattention called microsleep, which can last up to four or five seconds. That is a long time, especially when a driver is traveling at highway speeds.
Ways to reduce drowsy driving
The only real solution for drowsiness is adequate sleep. Seven hours of sleep each night is the recommendation for adults, but many fail people to achieve this goal. College students are notorious for not getting enough sleep. Studies have estimated that they don’t even get six hours of sleep a night.
One way to combat this problem, experts believe, is through education. Universities could set up educational programs to promote healthier behaviors. Employers, too, could come up with an off-the-job safety program. Parents of teens, for their part, could add a rule about drowsy driving to their parent-teen driving agreements.
Technology is seen as being helpful too. Lane departure warnings and drowsiness alerts are just two crash avoidance devices that can be installed in vehicles to improve safety.
Legal representation in case of an accident
Perhaps, it’s too late to worry about safety, though, because you or your teen was involved in a crash. Motor vehicle accidents caused by another’s negligence can form the basis for a personal injury claim, so you may want a lawyer to look into your situation and see how much you might be eligible for in damages.