Teenage Driving After Midnight

Essay by wingnight March 2009

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Teenage drivers should stay off the roads after midnight, not only because it's the law, but also because it's safer. Even in good weather conditions, driving between 12 and 6 a.m. has proven to be very dangerous. This is due to increased episodes of drowsiness, greater numbers of drivers under the influence, and teenage driver inexperience.

After midnight, a greater number of drivers experience fatigue after a long day. Over 100,000 injuries and deaths occur annually involving both commercial and passenger vehicles. Most drivers are not aware they are becoming increasingly drowsy, however even if they are they continue to drive. These reported 100,000 crashes account for 1.6% of 6.3 million crashes reported this year. In a recent study done by the Essex Corporation, it was found that drivers were 8 times more likely to experience episodes of drowsiness between the hours of 12- 6 am then any other time.

Because there is a greater amount of truck drivers traveling during the night then during the day, this is another reason why it is more dangerous for a teenager to be driving at night. In 82% of crashes from 16-6 a.m., driving was cited as a factor for truck drivers, while 52% of passenger vehicles cited drowsiness as a cause. As stated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, "The role of drowsiness in the leading causes and types of crashes may be largely underestimated due to unreported off- roadway crashes, police unable to verify drowsiness, and driver reporting error." Drowsiness is unsafe not only for the driver, but also for other people on the road.

The increased use of alcohol at night makes it more dangerous for teenage drivers to be on the road. In 2007, a study was done by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration displaying the...