Teenage drunk driving deaths are tragic and preventable. The more you know about this issue, the better you can prepare your teenage son or daughter to make smart choices once they have the freedom to drive with a full license. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) provide the following must-know statistics on teen drunk driving:
- The teen drunk driving rate has decreased by 54% since 1991.
- Ten percent of teenagers drink and drive. This translates to approximately 2.4 million teenage drunk driving occurrences every month.
- For drivers age 20 or younger, the risk of dying in a car accident after drinking is 17 times than the risk of dying in a car accident after not drinking.
- In the year 2010, 20% of all teenage drivers involved in fatal car accidents had alcohol in their systems.
- Among teens who said they had been drinking and driving in the past month, 85% also said they had engaged in binge drinking during the same time period.
Although it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol in the U.S., teens still find ways to get it. Teach your teen how to seek treatment for alcohol abuse if needed. And once your child is of legal age, he or she needs to know how to remain safe. That’s why it’s important to not treat alcohol as a taboo subject. Instead, have open and honest discussions about it on a regular basis. In particular, teach your teen to not give in to peer pressure and to never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. Teenage drunk driving deaths don’t just threaten the driver, but everyone in the car with him or her and everyone who shares the road. Once your teen is of legal age, he or she should know better than to get behind the wheel of a car while drinking. Explain that it is always better to call someone for a ride or to use a taxi service like Uber than it is to drive while drunk. It only takes a second for a tragic accident to occur. Sources https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teendrinkinganddriving/