When you start seeing check points set up by the police, this is another sign the holidays are upon us. I’ve ran into two of these checkpoints in the past week. This is where the police set up road blocks and inspect every vehicle and driver that goes through. If you don’t have anything to hide, they are just an unnecessary delay to your busy day. However, if you do have something to hide, then you may be in trouble. In the past, the check points have caught drunk drivers, people driving without a license or one that is suspended, and people who have warrants out for their arrest.
With the holidays, it’s just good to remember that we shouldn’t drink or drive no matter how old, how experienced or how capable we think we are. It’s just not worth it. Here in North Carolina, there has been a surge in teen driving fatalities in the past month. Most disturbing is the fact that they seem to have occurred within the same county and some of them have involved alcohol. It is every parent’s nightmare to get this kind of call regarding their child so if you have a child of driving age, even though you trust them and rely on them to be responsible, it never hurts to remind them over and over again, how dangerous it is to drink and drive. One of the accidents recently mentioned on the news, the teen driver that got killed wasn’t even the one driving, it was the driver of the other car.
I found the interesting article below about how sleep affects teen drivers. Someone did a research and concluded that teens who were able to sleep in longer had fewer accidents than teens who were up early and driving. Read the rest of the article below…
Later teen school day, fewer car accidents
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UPI) — Having teens start school one hour later, allowing students to sleep longer, resulted in a drop in teen auto accidents, U.S. researchers said.
Senior author Dr. Barbara Phillips, director of the University of Kentucky Healthcare Good Samaritan Sleep Center in Lexington, said that when school started an hour later students reported sleeping from 12 minutes to 30 minutes more per night.
The percentage of students who got at least eight hours of sleep per weeknight increased significantly from 35.7 percent to 50 percent while students who got at least nine hours of sleep also increased from 6.3 percent to 10.8 percent.
The average amount of additional weekend sleep, or “catch-up sleep,” decreased from 1.9 hours to 1.1 hours and daytime sleepiness decreased, the study said.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found the average crash rate for teen drivers in the study’s county in the two years after the change in school start time dropped 16.5 percent compared to the two years prior to the change while teen crash rates for the rest of the state increased 7.8 percent over the same time period.
“It is surprising that high schools continue to set their start times early, which impairs learning, attendance and driving safety of the students,” Phillips said in a statement.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International