A new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has sobering news for Texas parents. The study finds that one out of every 7 motorists between the age of 16 and 24 has admitted to dozing off or falling asleep at the wheel while driving at least once over the past year. Among drivers of other age groups, approximately one out of every 10 drivers admitted to dozing off while driving.

That young drivers and teen drivers are at a much higher risk for drowsy driving should not come as a surprise to any Houston auto accident attorney. As parents ourselves, we are quite aware that teenagers have a much lower quality of sleep and much higher levels of sleep deprivation, compared to persons of other age groups. Hectic social lives, constant access to the Internet, social media and all kinds of other distractions ensure that teenagers are awake way past their bed times, and therefore, get much lesser sleep than they should.

It’s important to understand that it’s not just dozing off at the wheel that could increase a teen’s risk of being involved in an accident. Drowsy driving encompasses a range of behaviors that include yawning frequently or continuously, drifting away from the lane, daydreaming, having disjointed and confused thoughts, not being able to read traffic signs, failing to make turns and exits, and driving past the intended destination. All of these are the consequences of driving while fatigued.

The best way to avoid drowsy driving is to make sure that you get a full 7 hours of sleep every night. Parents must also monitor teen driving behavior in order to prevent them from driving at night time when teenagers are normally supposed to be asleep.