Teens at higher risk of drowsy driving

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COLUMBIA - Studies show that teens are at higher risk for car accidents related to lack of sleep. A Freeburg teen crashed Thursday after falling asleep at the wheel.

Statistics from the National Sleep Foundation show that young people under the age of 25 are the largest population at risk for drowsy driving.

According to Dwight Jones, a family nurse practitioner at Broadway Urgent Care, that age group receives the least amount of sleep due to school, various extracurricular activities and work obligations.

"The body has a limit. You have to sleep just like you have to drink water, if you try to push it, it will go to sleep itself. It will shut down," Jones said

He also said that driving while sleep deprived can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence.

Kerrie Warne, of St. Louis, started a foundation to warn against teenage drowsy driving after her son, Tyler Warne, died while asleep at the wheel.

"There's the term widow for if you lose a spouse," said Warne. "There's isn't a term for parents that lose a child because it's something that's you don't think will ever happen."

Through her foundation, called TYREDD, Warne asks parents to take initiative and talk to their kids about the dangers of driving while drowsy.

The foundation website offers links to resources for parents.

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