Early School Starting Times Are Causing Car Crashes
According to a new report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, early school starting times are having a truly harmful effect on the health and well being of students in this country, and that is causing a great many auto accidents on our roads and highways.
The damning report pointed to a causal relationship between early school starting times and decreased time for teenagers to sleep; the result for the teens, according to the medical experts, is dangerous “drowsy driving,” anti-social behavior and depressed moods. As we know, the notion that teenagers indulge in somewhat erratic sleeping patterns shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise, but what should cause alarm is the now medically substantiated fact that making children go to school very early in the morning has a direct effect on the health of the child (and the safety of those with whom they share the road).
You might ask, why would an early school starting time cause car crashes? Well, in order to get to school on time, students have to wake up early; for an 8:00 AM starting time, for instance, a student wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning, in order to ensure enough time to wash up, get dressed, eat, and get to class. Parents, of course, encourage their students to get up early and prepare for their day, but in doing so they’re actually exacerbating a problem already prevalent in teenagers: the propensity for dangerous behavior.
Naturally, no parent should purposefully allow their child to skip or even be late to school on a consistent basis. This is why it’s imperative that schools, including ours right here in Palm Beach and Broward County, reexamine their operating hours and seriously consider pushing back the first bell by an hour or two. Doing so would allow children and teenagers (with still developing minds and bodies) to get the sleep they need, which would make them healthier, safer drivers, which would be a real benefit to everyone on the road.
They say that the early bird gets the worm; that might be true, but that “early to rise” bird also has a greater likelihood of flying right into a tree! As our Palm Beach and Broward County personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, sleep is absolutely essential; driving while deprived of ample amounts of sleep is just as dangerous, and sometimes more dangerous, than driving while intoxicated.
At the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green, we represent clients who have been injured in a wide range of situations; the most common, though, is that of a car crash. Fortunately, this is also one of the most avoidable types of injury-causing accidents. As a society, we have an obligation to try to reduce the risks of dangerous driving wherever and whenever we can. As this frightening report suggests, that responsibility of ours should come into play in the determination of school starting times.
If you have any questions about this issue or any other personal injury matter, please contact us for a free consultation by calling 561-266-9191. We look forward to speaking with you!