Early School Start Means More Crashes for Teens, According to Study

Teen drivers who sleep in are involved in fewer car crashes, according to a study.

Chesterfield and Henrico counties in Virginia offered researchers an experiment. The counties have similar ethnic characteristics and socioeconomic characteristics, however high school starts at 8:45am in Henrico, and at 7:30am in Chesterfield.

The rate of accidents among 16- to 18-year old students in Chesterfield County in 2009-2010 was 48.8 thousand, compared with 37.9 in Henrico County. In 2010-2011, the same trend was evident: 51.9 per thousand in Chesterfield and 44.2 in Henrico.

The study gathered no information on other behaviors such as sleep habits, miles traveled, and other factors that could have affected the results.

Dr. Robert D. Vorona, the lead author of the study, said “There is a growing literature that shows that early start times are a problem, and school systems should take a look at the data and seriously consider whether they should delay them.”

Source: NY Times