Accidents can happen in California without warning, and people might suffer personal injury or death because of them. Researchers assess the causes and effects of such accidents to determine ways to reduce them. A recent study focused on teen drivers, specifically the link between accidents and the time of day when school starts.
According to the study, there was a substantial reduction in teen auto accidents when the start of the school day came later. Teen driver accidents in Fairfax County, Virginia, were analyzed for two years prior to and after the start of the school day was changed. The number of accidents involving drivers ages 16 to 18 reduced by more than two full crashes per 1,000 drivers. In the rest of Virginia, the numbers were the same.
A lack of sleep is believed to be a prominent cause of auto accidents. In 2015, the Fairfax County schools changed the start of the school day by moving it to 8:10 a.m. Previously, it was 7:20 a.m. The statistics for accidents involving teens were compared across the state, and there were fewer distracted driving accidents with the later start time. It was found that teens who had more sleep made fewer bad decisions behind the wheel including distracted driving and failing to wear a seat belt.
Experts in sleep suggest that middle and high-schoolers start their school day at 8:30 a.m. at the earliest. With the later start time, teens are believed to get more sleep, have increased alertness, feel improved overall well-being and drive more safely. This research might be critical to a legal filing as drowsy driving, distractions and other dangerous behaviors by teens may lead to a crash. A personal injury law firm experienced in auto accidents may help crash victims with a legal filing for compensation.