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For teen drivers, sleep problems are not just a drowsy driving risk

Lack of sleep can impact many things for teenagers. This includes how safely they act when behind the wheel.

For one, not getting enough sleep can cause drowsy driving. When teens drive when tired, their driving abilities may be significantly diminished, increasing their likelihood of getting into crashes.

However, drowsy driving is not the only dangerous driving behavior that lack of sleep could make young drivers more likely to engage in. A recent study suggests that, for teens, sleep issues are connected to a greater risk of driving while drunk.

The study looked at CDC survey results regarding high school students to look into how risky behavior likelihood varied among teens based on the average amount of sleep they got. The study found that, in comparison to students that averaged eight hours of sleep a night, students that averaged less than six hours of sleep were had a higher likelihood of certain types of such behavior.

This includes driving under the influence. High school students with less than six hours of sleep had around double the likelihood of drunk driving.

This is particularly worrisome given another of the study’s findings: That not getting enough sleep is very common among high school students. The study found that only around one out of every three of the surveyed teens indicated that they regularly slept eight or more hours on school nights.

So, it appears that one of the steps parents can take towards keeping their teens safe out on the roads is promoting healthy sleep habits for their teens. What steps would you recommend for parents for making sure their teens are getting enough sleep?

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