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Young Motorists Underestimate Drowsy Driving Risks

Friday, September 21, 2012

A new study finds that young drivers are less likely to view drowsy driving as dangerous, as compared to drunk driving. This is in spite of the fact that there is enough evidence to indicate that both impaired driving as well as drowsy driving are equally dangerous as causes for auto accidents.

Recent research by the National Safety Council that was published in the Journal of Safety Research finds that young drivers have lackadaisical attitudes about the risks of drowsy driving. This is in spite of the fact that young drivers are at a much higher risk of fatigued driving and drowsy driving-related accidents than older drivers.

This category of drivers is at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident caused by sleep deprivation, as well as alcohol use. However, while young drivers seem to be fairly attuned to the risks of impaired driving, and an overwhelming majority of them believe that driving while drunk increases accident rates, they do not seem to have the same kind of attitudes when it comes to driving while fatigued.

In fact, as Burbank car accident lawyers have found, drowsy driving and distracted driving seem to be fairly underestimated by young drivers as far as their dangers are concerned.

Federal and state transportation agencies are at least partly to blame for these attitudes. They simply have not made enough of an effort to educate young drivers about the need to drive only after they have had plenty of rest. Young drivers have more hectic social lives, and consequently, may suffer from sleep deprivation. Getting enough sleep may not be high on their priority list.

That's all the more reason why safety initiatives pushing for measures against fatigued driving, should be focusing on young drivers. That doesn't seem to be happening.


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