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WJBD - Health & Fitness News - Skipping Sleep Increases Car Crash Risk for Young Drivers

Skipping Sleep Increases Car Crash Risk for Young Drivers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Parents can add one more thing to the list of worries that go with young drivers: skipping sleep. A study in the journal Pediatrics suggests young drivers who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be in car accidents.

For the study, researchers looked at more than 20,000 Australian drivers ages 17 to 24, comparing their sleep habits with their driving records. They found that young drivers who sleep less than six hours a night are 20 percent more likely to get into an accident that's reported to the police.


According to the study findings, those who reported getting less sleep on weekends were more than 50 percent more likely to be in crashes at night and in crashes in which they run off the road.


Not surprisingly, the hours between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. were found to be the most dangerous, with the highest rate of accidents for sleepy, young drivers.

In another separate study from Australia, researchers found that 60 percent of young-driver deaths happened at night.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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