Early school time ups crash rates among sleep restricted teen drivers

April 16th, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 16 (ANI): A new study has found increased automobile crash rates among Virginia Beach teen drivers who start school earlier in the morning.

The study analyzed data provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

In Virginia Beach, there were 12,916 registered drivers between 16 and 18 years of age in 2008, and these teen drivers were involved in 850 crashes.

Further analysis by time of day found that, in the morning, the teen crash rates peaked when students would be commuting to school, from 7 a.m. to 7:59 a.m.

Teen crash rates were highest in the afternoon hours, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Virginia Beach, where schools dismissed at about 2 p.m.

“We were concerned that Virginia Beach teens might be sleep restricted due to their early rise times and that this could eventuate in an increased crash rate,” said lead author Robert Vorona, associate professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.

The study appeared in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. (ANI)

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