Inj Prev 12:i19-i24 doi:10.1136/ip.2006.012070
  • The science of safe driving among adolescents

Youthfulness, inexperience, and sleep loss: the problems young drivers face and those they pose for us

  1. J A Groeger
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor J A Groeger
 Department of Psychology & Surrey Sleep Research Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK; j.groeger{at}
  • Accepted 24 April 2006


Young inexperienced drivers are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes than drivers who are older and more experienced. This paper argues that neither age nor inexperience are, in and of themselves, sufficient explanations of the association between age, experience, and casualty rates. The aim here is to consider what it is about inexperienced young drivers in particular that may increase crash risk. Evidence is reviewed showing differential sleep loss among different teenage groups, which may relate to recently presented evidence that young teenagers are more crash involved than drivers in their early twenties. Potential acute and chronic effects of sleep loss among teenagers and young adults are described.


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