Many individuals throughout Massachusetts would not consider getting behind the wheel of a car after having a drink or two. The potential consequences associated with drinking and driving are just too great. However, for many, the idea of getting behind the wheel after only a couple hours of sleep is common place. In fact, research indicates that drowsy driving is a major factor in teen driver accidents.
Researchers conducted a study related to crash accidents and found that drowsy driving accounted for approximately seven percent of all accidents. The average teenager needs more than just a few hours of sleep. However, between school, homework, extra-curricular activities, texting friends and other social activities, the average teenager typically does not get enough sleep. In fact, this same research suggests that only thirty percent of teenagers, on average, get the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis.
In addition to drowsy driving, when teenagers do not get enough sleep, they are more likely to make errors in judgment. As a result, texting while driving and drinking and driving tend to increase as the number of teenagers driving without adequate sleep also increases. This can be a deadly combination.
Massachusetts has enacted regulations in an attempt to curb drowsy driving and teen driving accidents. These measures include nightly curfews, monetary fines, and suspension of driving licenses for drowsy driving offenders. While these actions appear to be effective in reducing the number of teen driver accidents due to drowsy driving, it is still possible that one may become victim to such an incident. If this happens, an injured victim will want to review available legal options for compensation to offset any medical expenses and financial losses that result.
Source: claimsjournal.com, “Federal Agencies Propose New Plan to Tackle Drowsy Driving“, Denise Johnson, Aug. 18, 2016