Teenagers drinking and driving is an unfortunate reality. There’s no reason pretending it doesn’t exist. Here are some depressing stats, but states you should know:
- 70% of all teenagers admit to drinking alcohol.
- Every 15 minutes a teenager will die due to drunk driving.
- 60% of all teen deaths from car accidents involve alcohol.
- In a national survey conducted in 2011, 24% of teens reported that within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
- In 2010, 56% of teens killed in drinking and driving accidents were not wearing their seat belts.
Why Do Teens Drink And Drive?
You might be shocked at some of those numbers. I know I was. The teenage years often lead to an unfortunate combination of things that lead to an increased drinking and driving rate. Sometimes the newfound freedom is too much to handle responsibly and other times it’s as simple as peer pressure. Since teens usually have a low tolerance for alcohol and since they are also inexperienced drivers, all of these factors coming together creates a very dangerous situation. Remember when you were a teenager and had “nothing bad can happy to me syndrome?” Some teens have it worse than others.
Teenage Drunk Driving Rates Are Heading Down
The best way to prevent your teen from drinking and driving, or riding with a drunk driver, is to educate. Not all teens will listen, but teenage drunk driving rates among high school students have decreased by 54% since 1991. We’re headed in the right direction! What has lead to this decrease? Graduated drivers license systems are now in place in all 50 states. This alone has lead to a much safer system of licensing new drivers. There has also been a huge step up in education about drunk driving. And finally, stiffer drunk driving penalties have also had an impact. Recent studies have actually shown that the fear of arrest is a bigger deterrent than the fear of an accident. This is true for both adults and teens alike. So instead of preaching safety, you can always preach the criminal element of drinking and driving.