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Can your teen identify the symptoms of drowsy driving?

To remain fully in control of a car, truck or SUV, a driver must be alert. Sadly, according to the National Sleep Foundation, fatigued driving contributes to roughly 6,400 traffic fatalities every single year. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 are most at risk of drowsy drowning.

As a concerned parent, you have an active role to play in the safety of the teen driver in your family. This role includes advising your son or daughter about the risks of fatigued driving. Helping your teen identify the symptoms of drowsy driving is also critical.

Physiological changes

Fatigue, of course, happens over time. As your child goes from alert to too tired to drive safely, he or she is likely to notice some physiological changes. These include yawning, watering eyes and excessive blinking. While it may not be necessary for your teen to stop driving the first time he or she yawns or blinks rapidly, these physiological changes should serve as warning signs.

Memory difficulties

Because many motorists drive frequently, it is not uncommon for them not to remember driving familiar stretches of roadway. Your teen driver does not have much experience behind the wheel, though. Put simply, if your child forgets the last few miles, he or she should probably stop and rest.

Driving mistakes

Before drivers have catastrophic car accidents due to drowsy driving, they often make some driving mistakes. If your teen misses an exit, blows through a stop sign, drives over a shoulder rumble strip or veers into oncoming traffic, he or she is probably not alert enough to be on the road.

Ultimately, by teaching your teen to know when he or she is becoming drowsy, you are likely to help him or her become a responsible adult driver.

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