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Teens more likely to crash when school starts early

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2020 | Car Accidents |

Many car crashes in Jackson, Tennessee, involve teenage drivers. However, these are not always due to teens who were drinking, using a smartphone or acting in some other obviously negligent way at the time of the crash. It may be good to know about another factor that can indirectly contribute to crashes caused by teens: early school start times.

Studying teen crash rates in Fairfax County

One study published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine has taken into consideration the change that Fairfax County, Virginia, made to its school start times in 2015; specifically, a pushing back of the time from 7:20 am to 8:10 am. In the year before that change, there were 31.63 crashes involving licensed drivers aged 16 to 18 per 1,000 drivers. The year following that change saw it decline to 29.59 crashes. Everywhere else in Virginia the rate of teen car crashes was steady throughout those two years. Incidentally, nowhere else in the state was there a change in school start times.

What the AASM recommends

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports the idea of delaying start times for middle and high schools, saying that 8:30 am or later is ideal. Later start times let teens get the necessary 8 to 10 hours of sleep, reducing their risk for drowsy, inattentive driving and risk-taking behind the wheel. The study mentioned how teens are even less likely to forget their seat belt when they are well-rested.

A lawyer for cases involving major injuries

This study reveals, then, that there can be various factors in motor vehicle collisions caused by teens. Victims may need to take these into account when filing a claim. This is where a lawyer can come in and provide assistance. With legal representation, injured victims may seek damages that cover past and future medical expenses and the emotional and psychological effects of the crash. A lawyer may also add lost income and loss of earning capacity. All negotiations for a settlement may be left to the lawyer, and if these fail, filing a lawsuit might be advisable.

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