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Can the school schedule put teens in danger?

Teens often hate waking up in time for school. As a parent, though, you may want to know that those early classes could actually put your child in danger -- at least, that's the case if he or she drives to school.

A study found that teens who had to get up earlier to get to school on time had higher car accident rates than those who were allowed to sleep in and attend classes a bit later in the morning.

The problem is that teens could simply be exhausted behind the wheel, feeling sleep deprived after getting up so early. This can directly lead to car accidents if one dozes off while driving. Being tired may also reduce reaction times so that teens wind up involved in accidents that they otherwise would have avoided.

Of course, it's worth noting that hundreds of teens are all driving to school at the same time. Even if your teen does not fall asleep behind the wheel, he or she is still subjected to these risks, since many other tired teens will be on the road then, all heading to the same destination.

Researchers were hesitant to put the blame on school start times or even teens themselves, though. They pointed out that it was an issue for anyone who got up extra early, meaning that adults who had to be at work early could also be at risk.

Were you or your child hit by a driver who fell asleep? When facing high medical bills, you need to know what legal rights you may have to compensation.

Source: NBC, "Teen Car Crashes Tied to Early Classes," Emily Sohn, accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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