Study on Teens and Car Crashes – Dangers of Teen Driving – Safety Tips for Teens and Parents

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CarAccident.jpgAn Eastern Virginia Medical School study has found an association between teen early risers and car crashes after studying two Virginia counties whose schools had different starting times.
In Virginia Beach County, where schools start at 7:20 a.m., the crash rate per 1,000 teen drivers was 65.4; in Chesapeake County, where schools start at 8:40 a.m., the crash rate was 46.2 for every 1,000 teen drivers. The county with the earlier start time had a 40 percent higher incidence of teen car crashes than the county with later start times.
The new research confirms findings in a 2008 study featured in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine that showed when high schools in one Kentucky county changed their start times to an hour later, the rate of auto accidents among teens dropped by over 16 percent.
Research continues to show that teenagers need an average of 9.5 hours per sleep every night. Other studies have shown that teens who start school later in the day have improved grades, lower incidences of drug use and lower rates of depression and suicide.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a website dedicated to Florida teen drivers at www.flhsmv.gov/teens. The site has statistics (in 2007, the highest rate of Florida car crashes and the highest rate of Florida car crash fatalities were experienced by Florida teen drivers 15-19 years of age), driving tips, information on Florida’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) and more resources for Florida teen drivers and parents.

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