Both my teenage daughters, responsible teens and smart students with a ton of extracurricular activities, had serious car crashes with significant damage to the vehicle. But with God’s grace, they both survived these crashes. Not every teen is that fortunate. In 2008, a huge number of teens (6,428) died as a result of vehicular accidents in USA according to Department of Motor Vehicles, California. What can we do to eliminate this? Can later school start time help?
Looking for an answer, Dr. Robert Daniel Vorona and his colleagues at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA analyzed crash test data for two neighboring cities in Virginia, VB (earlier start times by 75-80 minutes) and Chesapeake and published their findings in this month’s Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. They found that VB teens had significantly higher crash rates than Chesapeake as shown in the following graph.
For VB and Chesapeake, teen drivers’ crash rates in 2008 were 65.8/1000 and 46.6/1000 (p < 0.001), respectively, and in 2007 were 71.2/1000 and 55.6/1000. Congestion data for VB and Chesapeake did not explain the different crash rates.
Want to delay school start time in your community? National Sleep Foundation has a few tips here to help you get started.
Do you have suggestions on how to convince schools to change the school start time? Do you have a story to tell? Let us work together and save a teen.