According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of teens who drive after consuming alcohol has dropped by 54 percent since 1991.
The study looked at self-reports of drinking and driving from the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys in addition to blood alcohol levels in fatal accidents involving teens across the country.
In 2011, 10.3 percent of high school students aged 16 or older reported driving under the influence in the previous 30 days as compared to 22.3 percent of teens in that age range in 1991.
The CDC credits the drop to all states raising the minimum drinking age, the implementation of stricter zero-tolerance laws, and the adoption of graduated drivers license (GDL) laws.
Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of teen fatalities in the U.S. Over 2,000 teens between the ages 16 and 19 are killed in car crashes every year and many of these accidents were alcohol-related.
It is important for parents to educate their teens on how to stay safe behind the wheel, including the dangers of driving while under the influence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that parents set rules for teenage drivers with specific consequences for breaking them. Some of the suggested rules include:
- Never drink and drive
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Limit the number of passengers
- Obey speed limits
- Follow Alabama GDL laws
- Limit nighttime driving
- Never use a cell phone or text while operating a vehicle
If your teen was involved in an auto accident that was caused by the actions or negligence of another driver, you may have cause for legal recourse to recover damages.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to teen drivers and their families or to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys, complete the Free Case Review form on this page.