A AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that teenagers are more likely to fall asleep while driving than adults over the age of 24. Researchers found that one in seven teenagers nodded off or fell asleep behind the wheel, while adults over the age of 24 nodded off or fell asleep at the ratio of one in 10. This is cause for great concern as the NHTSA estimates at least 100,000 crashes reported to police annually are caused by a sleepy driver.
So, how do we get our teens not to drive while drowsy? First, parents need to be aware if their teen is getting enough sleep. If they aren't, taking their keys for the day may save their life. Secondly be a proactive parent. Add getting enough sleep to your teens driving contract with you. And lastly, talk to your teen about what to do if they should get tired and think they might fall asleep behind the wheel. Make it clear to your teen that they can call you to pick them up.