Drowsy driving is a serious problem in Hollywood and South Florida, where tired drivers cause serious and even fatal accidents. While we may think parents and working-age adults may be most at risk, studies show drivers in the 16-24 age group are 80% more likely to be in a fatigued driving collision when compared with drivers over 40 years of age. Drowsy driving accidents are often fatal and often lead to serious, permanent injuries that can impair a young adult’s life.
Why Might Teens Be at Risk?
There are many factors that may cause teen drivers to be especially prone to fatigued driving crashes:
- Their bodies are changing. According to sleep experts, a change in circadian rhythm happens during the teen years. This can mean teens want to go to bed later and may not be able to fall asleep sooner. Yet, school still starts early, which can disrupt the ideal time for teens to sleep, leaving them tired.
- Teens face a lot of pressure. From homework to college applications and friends and full-time jobs, teens today have very busy schedules. This can mean they don’t get enough sleep.
- Teens may not realize the risk. Teens are still learning to drive and still developing good driving habits. They may not be aware of the dangers of driving when tired.
- Teens need more sleep. Teens need more sleep than children—about 9-9.5 hours per night, on average. Yet, most teenagers simply don’t get this amount. Many may not realize they need more sleep.
How Can We Prevent Fatigued Driving Accidents?
If you’re the parent of a young driver, you have a chance to make a difference. Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk for your child.
- Talk about fatigued driving. Your teen may have learned about the dangers of drunk driving but may not have been told about the dangers of tired driving. Have conversations about the dangers and about your child’s sleeping habits.
- Help your teen manage their time. Your teen may just be learning about delegating, setting priorities, and creating a schedule. Help them with tips and discussions about what they can accomplish and how to schedule their days.
- Offer alternatives. If your child has night classes or works late, offer to pick them up rather than have them drive home tired. Offer to be an alternative ride and discuss other ways your teen can get home safely if they’re yawning and exhausted.
- Ban your child from fatigued driving. If your teen isn’t getting enough sleep, he or she should not be allowed to drive until they get some sleep and relaxation.
- Encourage naps. While naps don’t replace a good night’s sleep, a 30-45 minute nap in the afternoon can help make your teen more alert.
- Ask your child to visit their doctor. If your child is always tired or has trouble falling or staying asleep, encourage them to visit a doctor. They may have sleep apnea or another underlying condition that needs treatment.
Have You Been Injured by a Tired Driver?
Drivers of every age are expected to make sure they are safe to drive before they get behind the wheel. If they fail to do so and you’re injured as a result, you may have a claim. It can be difficult to prove that the driver that caused your accident was tired, which is why it’s useful to work with an experienced attorney.
The legal team at Flaxman Law Group, for example, has worked on thousands of cases and we’ve recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. We investigate the cause of your accident carefully, so we can find all liable parties. We also explain your options and carefully calculate how much compensation you may be eligible for.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in South Florida, call the Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood law offices of Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to set up a free, no obligation case consultation with an experienced Florida fatigued driver car accident attorney.