Posts Tagged ‘ teen drivers ’

The American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Later School Start Times for Teens

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Pediatricians Recommends Later School Start Times for TeensAs teenagers across the country head back to school, many are starting what will be yet another year of little sleep. But consider this: A consistent lack of shuteye can be much more serious than feeling fatigued in biology.

Studies show sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for things like car accidents and can lead to poor academic performance and ill health. Citing this topic as an “important public health issue,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a recommendation that middle schools and high schools start classes at or after 8:30 a.m. to allow students the chance to get more sleep regularly.

“Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common – and easily fixable – public health issues in the U.S. today,” said pediatrician Judith Owens, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, in an AAP press release.

The AAP states that the optimal amount of sleep time for teens is between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 hours per night. But as students get older and responsibilities pile up, a mix of homework, extracurricular activities, and after-school jobs leads to even later nights, which can make it very difficult to meet the sleep goal.

The possibility of making this policy change in schools across the nation is also tough. School districts struggle with financial and logistical challenges that include providing school busing services for elementary, middle, and high schools. It can be difficult for enough buses to shuttle kids to all of the schools in one time frame, which can also strain school district budgets. Ultimately, “the issue is really cost,” Kristen Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, told the AP.

Does your child’s lack of sleep affect her performance at school? Take a look at these tips to boost her school success.

Helping Your Child Succeed At School
Helping Your Child Succeed At School
Helping Your Child Succeed At School

Photo of girl sleeping courtesy of Shutterstock.

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More Teens Waiting to Get Driver’s Licenses

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Citing reasons ranging from gas and insurance costs to unemployment rates that make payments difficult, fewer teenagers are going for their driver’s license tests as soon as their states allow, according to a new analysis of data from the Federal Highway Administration and the Census Bureau.  More from

The percentage of teens with a driver’s license has fallen significantly over the past few decades, and experts suspect there’s no one explanation for the shift. Instead, they cite a host of reasons, including everything from high gas and insurance prices to more of a willingness to let Mom and Dad drive you around.

“The numbers suggest that fewer teens are wanting to drive,” said Karl Brauer, senior director of insights at Kelley Blue Book.

About 28 percent of 16-year-olds had their driver’s license in 2010, compared with about 46 percent of 16-year-olds who were licensed drivers in 1983, according to an analysis of data from the Federal Highway Administration and the Census Bureau data compiled by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan.

Those numbers go up as teens get older, but today’s older teens are still less likely to be driving than the teens of the 1980s, according to the University of Michigan analysis. About 70 percent of 19-year-olds had their license in 2010, according to the University of Michigan analysis, compared with 87 percent of 19-year-olds in 1983.

One big potential culprit: Cost. Anyone who’s filled their tank lately knows that it takes more than pocket change to drive around, and that’s not even including insurance and other maintenance. A recent study from found that adding a teenage driver to the family car insurance policy can double annual premiums in some states.

Image: Teenage driver, via Shutterstock

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Report: Teen Drivers’ License Restrictions Don’t Prevent Fatal Crashes

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

teendriverThe Journal of the American Medical Association has released new data suggesting that some restrictions on teenage drivers–including limiting night driving–lowers the rate of fatal car crashes, but other restrictions, such as requiring teens to “graduate” from an interim license to a full one, can actually increase the fatal crash rate.

From a article published on

Between 1986 and 2007, the rate of fatal accidents involving 16-year-old drivers was 26% lower in states that prohibited teens from driving at night and carrying certain passengers, compared to states with neither restriction.

Among 18-year-olds, however, strong graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs were associated with a 12% increase in the fatal crash rate, which effectively cancelled out the benefits among younger drivers. When teen drivers of all ages were pooled together, the link between these programs and the rate of fatal crashes was statistically negligible.

[The study's lead author, Scott V.] Masten and his colleagues can’t explain the increase in traffic deaths among 18-year-olds, but they suggest that it may be a form of “payback” for the restrictions on younger drivers. By limiting teen driving, they explain, graduated-license laws may deprive younger teens of valuable driving experience, and in some cases may lead teens to delay getting a license altogether.

“They’re saying, ‘Forget it. I’ll wait till I’m 18,’” Masten says. “We have, at least in California, more novice 18- and 19-year-olds with no driving experience.”

All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have some form of graduated drivers’ licensing program.

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