While safety campaigns have brought significant attention to the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, fatigued driving continues to be a problem in New York and across the country. According to the Zebra, an insurance firm, teens and young adults are much more likely to drive drowsy than those in any other age group.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, most teens and young adults require about 10 hours of sleep each night. For a variety of reasons, many younger drivers simply do not get enough rest. Therefore, to keep the teenagers in your family safe, you should talk to them about the dangers of fatigued driving.
Teach them to recognize the warning signs
As a parent, you have probably heard your children say they are not sleepy only to notice them dozing off a few minutes later. Because teens may not realize they are too drowsy to drive safely, you should teach them to recognize the warning signs of fatigue. These typically include the following:
- Excessive blinking
- Watering eyes
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of muscular strength
Tell them to find another way
Regardless of the circumstances, your teenagers should know it is always acceptable to call you for a ride home or anywhere else. If you are unavailable, your kids should have a backup plan.
Asking your teens the following questions may help them hone their safety strategy:
- Did you sleep well last night?
- How are you feeling?
- How late do you plan to stay out?
- Do you have somewhere to stop and rest?
Ultimately, by bringing a culture of safe and alert driving to your household, you are likely to instill in your teens the importance of staying off the road when they are sleepy.