The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers in junior and senior high sleep 8 to 10 hours. If they do not, they are liable to become inattentive and distracted behind the wheel the next morning. If you were injured in Connecticut in a car crash involving a teen driver, then you may be interested to know how that inattention may sometimes arise.
The effect of early school start times
It’s not just smartphones or alcohol that can cause teen drivers to be negligent. It can be lack of sleep caused by early school start times. According to the AASM, it may be risky for middle and high schools to start sooner than 8:30 am. Teens, deprived of sleep, can more easily become distracted, neglect their seat belt and take risks behind the wheel.
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine publishes a study
A study has explored the connection between school start times and the rate of teen auto accidents, specifically in Fairfax County, Virginia, which pushed its start times from 7:20 am to 8:10 am in the fall of 2015. Researchers came up with the crash rate in the year before the change and the year after it, limiting themselves to licensed drivers from the age of 16 to 18.
In the first year, that rate was 31.63 per 1,000 drivers. In the second, it was 29.59. Such a decline was not seen in the rest of Virginia, which, incidentally, made no similar change to its school starting times.
Legal guidance for those seeking compensation
So you were injured at the hands of a distracted teen driver and you may be wondering if you can even get back to work. Since Connecticut is an at-fault state, you can file a personal injury claim regardless of how severe the injuries were. The greater the severity, though, the higher the settlement may be. You may want to seek out legal guidance. That way, you may learn how much you can be eligible for, including medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income and pain and suffering.