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Teen drivers frequently cause car crashes out of inattention, drowsiness and clear acts of negligence. If you were the victim of a teen driver in Charleston, West Virginia, then you should know that multiple factors may have influenced the teen’s behavior. One of them, interestingly enough, could be the time that school starts.

AASM recommends early school start times

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that high schools and junior high schools start at 8:30 am or later to let teens get the 8 to 10 hours of sleep they need. A later start time can improve road safety as well as academic performance and psychological well-being.

Later school start times may mean fewer crashes

One study has explored the possible link between school start times and the rate of car crash rates involving licensed teen drivers aged 16 to 18. Researchers considered the change that Fairfax County, Virginia, made to its school start times back in 2015. Specifically, it pushed the time back from 7:20 am to 8:10 am. As a result, the crash rate went from 31.63 crashes per 1,000 drivers in the year before the change to 29.59 crashes in the year after.

The link seems all the more evident when one considers how the rest of Virginia, which did not change its school start times, saw only a steady rate of teen car crashes. Researchers noted a decrease in distracted driving and risk-taking among teens.

Attorney for personal attention

This is the kind of information you may need to bring up if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against a teen who was drowsy or inattentive at the moment of the collision. As long as you are less than 50% at fault, then you will be eligible for compensation. Having a lawyer to help you achieve a fair amount, though, may be wise.