Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teen automobile crash rates are higher when school starts earlier

Date:
June 10, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
In 2008 the teen crash rate was about 41 percent higher in Virginia Beach, Va., where high school classes began at 7:20 a.m., than in adjacent Chesapeake, Va., where classes started more than an hour later at 8:40 a.m. There were 65.4 automobile crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers in Virginia Beach, and 46.2 crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers in Chesapeake. The two adjoining cities have similar demographics, including racial composition and per capita income.

Earlier school start times are associated with increased teenage car crash rates, according to a research abstract presented June 9, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Results indicate that in 2008 the teen crash rate was about 41 percent higher in Virginia Beach, Va., where high school classes began at 7:20 a.m., than in adjacent Chesapeake, Va., where classes started more than an hour later at 8:40 a.m. There were 65.4 automobile crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers in Virginia Beach, and 46.2 crashes for every 1,000 teen drivers in Chesapeake.

"We were concerned that Virginia Beach teens might be sleep restricted due to their early rise times and that this could eventuate in an increased crash rate," said lead author Robert Vorona, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. "The study supported our hypothesis, but it is important to note that this is an association study and does not prove cause and effect."

The study involved data provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. In Virginia Beach there were 12,916 drivers between 16 and 18 years of age in 2008, and these teen drivers were involved in 850 crashes. In Chesapeake there were 8,459 teen drivers and 394 automobile accidents. The researchers report that the two adjoining cities have similar demographics, including racial composition and per-capita income.

Further analysis by time of day found that in both cities the afternoon crash rates were higher than the morning crash rates. In Virginia Beach, where the school day ended around 2 p.m., the afternoon crash rate peaked from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. In Chesapeake, where school dismissed at about 3:40 p.m., the afternoon crash rate peaked from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Six-hour analysis indicated that the overall afternoon crash rate per 1,000 teen drivers in Virginia Beach (35.2) was higher than in Chesapeake (20.6).

According to Vorona, delaying high school start times may promote driver alertness by reducing the severity of chronic sleep restriction, which is a common problem during adolescence. This idea is supported by a study in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which reported that the teen crash rate dropped by 16.5 percent in one county that delayed high school start times by an hour.

"We believe that high schools should take a close look at having later start times to align with circadian rhythms in teens and to allow for longer sleep times," said Vorona. "Too many teens in this country obtain insufficient sleep. A burgeoning literature suggests that this may lead to problematic consequences including mood disorders, academic difficulties and behavioral issues."

The study was supported by the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine Division of Sleep Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Teen automobile crash rates are higher when school starts earlier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609083225.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2010, June 10). Teen automobile crash rates are higher when school starts earlier. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609083225.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Teen automobile crash rates are higher when school starts earlier." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609083225.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins