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Starting classes later could help reduce risk of road accidents among young people

Starting classes later could help reduce risk of road accidents among young people
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A new study, presented at the CHEST Congress 2019 which opened its doors this Wednesday in Bangkok, Thailand, shows a significant decrease in road accidents among teenagers when morning classes start later.

Researchers from the Farwaniya Hospital, Kuwait and Boston Children s Hospital in the U.S.A. investigated the impact of a 50-minute delay in the early hours of the school day with students aged 16 to 18 years old. The study compared extensive data over two consecutive academic years in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the largest school districts in the United States.

Data from two academic years was compared: 2014-15, when classes started at 7:20 AM, and 2015-16, after the delayed start was implemented (8:20 AM). Data from Fairfax County Youth Survey (annual health and well-being survey of middle and high school students) was used to determine the adolescents average sleep duration and their attitude to driving under the influence of alcohol.

"Interventions in reducing sleep loss in young drivers such as delaying school start times may significantly reduce needless injuries and deaths due to drowsy driving," concluded Dr. Saadoun Bin-Hasan, lead researcher.
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