What Happens When a Teenager Drives While Fatigued?

October 12, 2021
fatigued teenage drivers

A common issue among teenagers is sleep deprivation. Teenagers have busy schedules and often forgo needed sleep. Yet, most teenagers and young adults do not understand that lack of sleep can lead to adverse health and behavioral problems. 

Studies have shown that driving while fatigued is comparable to drunk driving. Driving without sleep for over 24 hours is the same as driving with the blood alcohol contact (BAC) level of 0.10 percent. That combined with a teenager’s lack of driving experience creates a real problem on the road.

A teenager’s internal clock works differently as well. An adult needs at least eight hours of sleep each night to function the next day, and the same is true for teenagers. Yet, many teenagers fail to realize this, which may lead to a delayed sleep phase. A teenager’s body clock will naturally feel tired at later hours in the evening, making it difficult to fall asleep early. 

How can Parents Help Their Teenage Drivers?

Most teenagers have schedules that include many activities, such as work, studying, school, after-school activities, sports, household chores, and social events. All of these activities can be overwhelming. It is important for parents to help their teenager maintain a healthy schedule and realize the importance of rest.

If you have a teenage driver, you can help them organize their life and understand the dangers of sleep deprivation. Perhaps you can limit their responsibilities around the house to help them focus on health and sleep. You could also educate and talk to your teenager about how lack of sleep can increase their chance of causing a car accident. Parents should try to encourage their teenager to call them if they feel too tired to drive.

Teenagers should find a safe place and pull over if they recognize these signs of drowsiness:

  • Yawning
  • Heavy eyelids or frequent blinking
  • Forgetfulness of the previous mile traveled
  • Drifting in and out of lanes

Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Injured in Drowsy Driving Collisions

Driving while drowsy could cause a disastrous car accident, but it is easily preventable. If you have been injured by a drowsy driver, you should contact our Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for assistance. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.