Obtaining a driver’s license is a right of passage in the U.S. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, a person can apply for a driver’s license when he or she reaches the age of 16. While receiving a license requires passing some tests and meeting other eligibility requirements, it is not exactly difficult to get one.
Teen accident statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are alarming. In 2019 alone, more than 2,400 teens died in motor vehicle accidents. More than 250,000 others suffered injuries in car crashes that year.
Drowsiness is a problem
While the comparative shortage of driving experience certainly plays a role in many accidents involving teen drivers, drowsiness is a problem. Put simply, when any driver is not sufficiently alert, he or she poses some accident risk.
Nowadays, many teens suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. This is due to multiple reasons, including academic pressures, school starting times and even growth spurts. To keep teens safe and others safe, parents must prevent young motorists from driving without sufficient rest.
Teens must recognize the warning signs
It can be difficult to tell whether a teen has had sufficient rest, of course. Therefore, parents should teach their teens to recognize the warning signs of drowsy driving. These may include one or more of the following:
- Missing exits
- Forgetting directions
- Having watery eyes
- Dozing off
Even though you should be able to count on parents to keep drowsy teens off the road, you cannot control the actions of other drivers. Ultimately, if you suffer a life-changing injury in a collision with a sleepy teen, you may have a valid reason to pursue financial compensation.