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Study: Sleeping in could help avoid accidents for teens

Posted On Thu, June 10, 2010

It's a well-known fact that teenagers hate to wake up early, but now there is scientific support for letting them do so.

Researchers recently found that those high schools whose school days start earlier have higher teen car crash rates, according to an NPR report. The study looked at two cities in Virginia with similar racial and economic demographics, but school start times 80 minutes apart.

They found that Virginia Beach, where school begins at 7:20 a.m., had a 41 percent higher crash rate for 16- to-18-year-olds than Chesapeake, where school starts at 8:40 a.m., the report said. Researchers think the difference may be sleep deprivation and a disruption of the teens' internal clocks.

One researcher told NPR that there isn't much data available on the potential impact of insufficient sleep in teens and how that relates to car crashes. The report notes that some U.S. high schools have begun pushing back their starting times.

A recent report from television station KELO said that teen girls are catching up to similarly-aged boys in terms of dangerous driving, and their insurance rates are climbing accordingly.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19831128-ADNFCR

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