In a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it indicated that the prevalence of drinking and driving among high school students, ages 16 to 19, has declined by 54%. That’s compared to a 22.3% decrease in 1991 and a 10.3% decrease in 2011. This report used data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Survey and Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2014. It provided the latest self-reported national estimates of driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana and driving under the influence of a combination of alcohol and marijuana for people ages 16 to 19.
The findings from this study indicated that driving under the influence of alcohol alone declined by 59% among people 16 to 20-years-old. That’s compared to 16.2% in 2002 and 6.6% in 2014. It also decreased by 38% among people ages 21 to 25. That’s from 29.1% in 2002 and 18.1% in 2014.
- One in 10 teens in high school drink and drive.
- Teen drivers are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than experienced drivers.
- Young drivers who are 16 to 20-years-old are 17 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they are sober.
- Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death among young adults ages 16 to 25 in the U.S.
How to prevent or reduce drunk driving
While the study found that fewer teens are drinking and driving today, this behavior remains a major threat. Hence, we cannot sit back and relax. There’s something to be done. For parents like me, we have to talk to our teens about the dangers of drunk driving and help them learn more about the rules of the road. I can’t stress this enough, always remind them to drive sober. We need to also be good role models for our children as well and practice safe driving habits.
Teen drivers should never drink and drive. If you go to a party where there is alcohol, don’t drink. Also, if you rode to the party with a friend and now they are drunk, don’t ride home with them. Instead, call a taxi or family member or friend to pick you and your friend up and drive you home. Teens also need to always wear their seat belt, obey speed limits and follow traffic rules. This will help keep you and your friends safe.
As a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney, I am happy that there has been a decrease in the number of drinking and driving crashes. Drunk driving is a public health problem and police concern, but it can be prevented. With continued and dedicated efforts from everyone and by helping teen drivers to be more responsible on the road, we can prevent motor vehicle crashes and save lives.