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Later school start time may contribute to teen driver safety

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has published a study that may be of interest to parents in New Jersey because it suggests that teens may be more likely to become distracted on the road the earlier that school begins. Researchers looked at the rate of car crashes involving teens during a two-year period in Fairfax County, Virginia. The county, in the fall of 2015, pushed back its school start times from 7:20 am to 8:10 am.

Red light crashes injure thousands each year

Car accidents caused by drivers running red lights take 800 lives in New Jersey and across the country each year while injuring thousands more people. In many cases, those harmed in these crashes are pedestrians, cyclists and the occupants of other vehicles who had no chance to anticipate a car speeding toward them through a red light. Because running red lights poses such a threat to highway safety, red light cameras have been adopted by many municipalities as a means to crack down on violators while increasing revenue from traffic tickets. The cameras are posted on the lights and take photos of the license plates of cars running through red signals; the drivers later receive tickets in the mail.

AASM on how drivers can avoid drowsiness

According to AAA, drowsy drivers cause some 328,000 car crashes every year in New Jersey and across the U.S. with 6,400 of them ending in death. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has shown how prominent drowsy driving is in its recent Sleep Prioritization Survey of 2,003 U.S. adults. It turned out that 45% of the respondents have driven in such a drowsy condition that they struggled to keep their eyes open.

The top concerns parents have regarding teenage driving

When a teenager in New Jersey gets their driver's license, they are usually focused on the excitement and privilege of driving. Parents are the ones who tend to be more worried about safety. New research reveals how concerned parents are and how common distracted driving is among teenagers.

DUI fatality rate peaks during Fourth of July

More than any other major holiday in the U.S., the Fourth of July sees a spike in the number of deaths resulting from drunk driving crashes. New Jersey residents should know that 1,192 people were killed in DUI crashes on the Fourth of July between 2010 and 2017. The second deadliest holiday turned out to be Memorial Day with 1,105 people dying on that day between the same years. In all, the average DUI fatality rate was 23% higher on Independence Day.

Drowsy driving signs and dangers

Being drowsy behind the wheel can be as dangerous as being drunk. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, someone who has been awake for 24 hours straight has the same impairment level as an individual with a blood alcohol content of .10. For reference, .08 is legal maximum BAC for drivers in New Jersey. For those who find themselves tired while driving, there are some tips to stay alert.

Bad driving habits may explain dump truck crash increase

Many commercial truckers in New Jersey and across the U.S. engage in bad driving habits like speeding, distracted driving and operating while fatigued. The pressure of deadlines and the lure of by-the-load incentives play their part as well. While truck accident rates went down in the early 2000s as a result of improved technology and effective driver safety campaigns, those rates are coming back up as preventative efforts stall.

Teen drivers more dangerous when passengers are teens

Research prepared by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety highlights the importance of adult supervision while teens develop their driving skills. Parents in New Jersey should aim to accompany their teen drivers for at least 100 hours behind the wheel before allowing them to drive with only teen friends. The foundation measured substantial increases in traffic fatalities when teens drove without anyone age 35 or older in their vehicles.

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