An Italian study published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that poor sleep quality increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents in teenagers. Findings show that young drivers were twice as likely to have had a crash if they experienced sleepiness while driving.

Fabio Cirignotta, lead author of the study and professor of neurology at the University of Bologna, said that the only efficient means to fight drowsiness is to find a safe place and nap for at least 10 minutes. Drinking coffee, rolling down the window, and listening to music are all temporary, and essentially, useless, according to Cirignotta.

Teens Deprived of Sleep

According to a self-administered questionnaire submit by the teenagers studied, an average teen needs approximately 9 hours of sleep each night. For various reasons, teens reported only getting about 7 hours of sleep per weekday night. Chronic sleep loss and poor sleep quality also affects the alertness of drivers, as 45% of teens reported waking in the night with difficulty falling back asleep and 40% having difficulties awaking in the morning.

Sleeping and Accident Prevention

Teens who have enough sleep can avoid severe injuries from vehicular crashes. An Australian study called the Sustained Wakefulness and Performance study by Lamond and Dawson documents that sleep loss can be similar or worse than alcohol intoxication.

However research shows serious benefits to proper sleeping habits. During sleep, the brain and many body organs are able to relax and recover. With proper sleep recovery from illnesses is speed up; accidents are prevented, and sleep can defend against potential heart attacks.

Contact a Utah Drowsy Driving Lawyers

Combining driving with sleep deprivation can prove fatal. In the ill-fated event that a drowsy driver injures you in a Utah accident, contact the Utah drowsy driving lawyers at the Christensen Law Firm for a free consultation at 801.506.0800.