Teen Drunk Driving Statistics
Alcohol is a drug, and it affects the brain. When an adolescent drinks, he or she may not have the ability to make proper decisions. For example, studies have shown that young people who use alcohol are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior such as jumping from heights or using dangerous equipment. These activities don't usually occur when the individual is sober.
It is normal experience for teens to experiment with alcohol. This is often a concern for parents and guardians. A challenge that many parents and guardians face is distinguishing age related behavior changes, from alcohol influenced behaviors.
Alcohol is known to cause impairment with judgement skills, which is a contributing factor to teenage drinking and driving. An additional factor contributing to teenage drinking and driving would be that young adults often think that bad things “won’t happen to me”.
While experimenting with alcohol is a typical behavior among teenagers, heavy and consistent drinking is not the norm. Recognizing drinking concerns at an early stage can be beneficial when getting help. For more on teenage drinking, follow the link for additional information.
Let’s look at some statistics teenage drunk driving, in the US.
Drivers aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in car crashes than older drivers.
(Source: Safety Resource Center 2019)
Car accident statistics by age are clear. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that teenage drivers are at greater risk than elderly people.
The statistics teenage drunk driving are simply staggering. It’s clear that something has to be done about the problem. In a moment, we’ll talk about prevention and treatments. First, let’s look at some other facts about teens and alcohol.
Alcohol use among teens is a serious matter. Consider the following:
These are not statistics teenage drunk driving, but they are related. Teens who drive while under the influence are also more likely to be in an accident than adults who drive while intoxicated. Experts believe this is because teens have less driving experience and often overestimate their driving abilities. Teens also engage in more risk-taking behaviors, such as speeding.
So how do we prevent teens from drinking and driving? Let’s see.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), an organization that works to prevent drunk driving, offers parents the following suggestions to help prevent teens from drunk driving:
In addition, parents should talk to their teens about drunk driving. Studies have shown that teens whose parents talk to them about alcohol use are far less likely to use than those whose parents do not discuss the issue with them.
Parents need to have a serious talk with their teens about the consequences of drunk driving. Parents should read up on what could happen to their child if he or she is involved in an accident while driving under the influence.
In addition, parents and teens should talk about drinking and driving statistics teenage drunk driving, as well as how teen alcohol abuse often leads to other problems like drug use.
The facts that they both know will be more effective than lecturing or nagging. Also, parents can find positive things to say about kids who choose not to drink (e.g., "Isn't it nice that Billy decided not to drink tonight? I sure appreciate it because I was worried about him driving home later on...").
What doesn’t work is just giving kids statistics teenage drunk driving. While it’s important for parents and educators to be aware of the statistics, and it can be useful to share those stats with teens as well, just giving them the numbers doesn’t do the trick. The above steps will work better than simply giving them dry statistics.
If your teen is addicted to alcohol or not yet an alcoholic but is heading down that path, take action now and find out how to prevent teenage drunk driving before it's too late. Reach out to a treatment provider today to know how you can help your adolescent with his or her battle against alcoholism.