Teenage drinking and driving is a serious concern. In a moment we’ll talk about some tips to prevent underage drinking and driving, but first let’s take an in-depth look at the problem.
Sixty percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related. Now, studies show that teens are less likely to drive while under the influence than adults are, but when they do, their risk of being in an accident is greater. Experts believe that is because teens are inexperienced at driving and because they are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors while driving, such as speeding. They also tend to over-estimate their driving ability.
Teens may also be more affected by alcohol than adults. Even small amounts of alcohol greatly increase their risk of car accidents. For example, a teenage boy with a blood alcohol concentration of just 0.05 (well below the amount considered “legally drunk” in most states) is 18 times more likely to suffer a single vehicle crash than his non-drinking counterparts. And a teenage girl is 54 times more likely to crash!
Follow these tips to help prevent underage drinking and driving:
There are a number of laws designed to reduce underage drinking and driving. Laws vary from state to state, but include such things as:
There is some question about the effectiveness of these laws. Still, you and your teen should be aware of the laws in your state. Laws regarding the suspension of a driver’s license can serve as a powerful deterrent for teen drivers.
It is also illegal in all states for people under the age of 21 to drive with any alcohol in their system. They will likely be arrested for underage drinking and driving.
For More Information
For more information about teenage drinking and driving, you can contact Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) at 1-877-SADD-INC (877-723-3463). See if there is a SADD chapter at your teen’s school. If not, find out about starting one. That is an excellent way to combat underage drinking and driving.