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Perhaps you were injured at the hands of a distracted teen driver in Buffalo. Teens can get distracted behind the wheel for a variety of reasons, and interestingly enough, one factor that can increase the risk for distraction is an early start to school each morning.

The effect of early school start times

One study has potentially linked early school start times with a higher rate of teen car crashes. Researchers looked at the rate of car crashes involving licensed drivers aged 16 to 18 over a two-year period in Fairfax County, Va.

The county had pushed back its school start times from 7:20 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. in 2015, and researchers wanted to compare the crash rate in the year before that change with the rate in the year after. It turns out there was a decline from 31.63 to 29.59 crashes per 1,000 drivers. The crash rate stayed steady in the rest of the state, which incidentally made no changes to its school start times during that period.

Well-rested teens less are likely to take risks

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that 13- to 18-year-olds sleep eight to 10 hours a day. Teens tend to sleep late into the day, too, which is why the AASM recommends that middle and high schools start no sooner than 8:30 a.m.

Well-rested teens are less drowsy and inattentive on the road, less liable to take risks and better able to perform academically. The AASM also says that later school start times lead to improved mental health and fewer sports-related injuries.

Having a lawyer negotiate a settlement

When motor vehicle crashes arise, victims can usually recover the damages they are entitled to through their own insurance. New York is a no-fault state, so there are restrictions on who can file a third-party insurance claim. If your injuries were serious, then you may want a lawyer to evaluate the case. A third-party claim might cover not just the monetary damages like medical bills but also non-monetary damages like pain and suffering.

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