Did you know that eight teenagers die every day because of drunk driving? Of alcohol-related fatal car crashes, 40 percent involve teens, and 60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents involve alcohol.
According to a survey compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 10 high school students 16 and older have driven a vehicle after drinking. A teenage boy is 18 times more likely to get into an accident with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%, which is below the average limit in most states. A female teenager is 54 more times likely to have an accident with the same BAC.
The survey also found that of the teens who admitted to drinking and driving, 85 percent of them say they binge drank, which means they had five or more alcoholic drinks within a few hours. Binge drinking can be toxic in some cases, leading to blackouts, coma and even death.
Since the early 90s, teen drinking and driving has decreased by more than half, but it is still a major concern. One in five teenage drivers that were involved in a fatal crash had BACs higher than the legal limit.
Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the CDC aim to use education to lower these drunk driving statistics. They create campaigns based around special occasions in a teen’s life, such as graduation or prom, in hopes of reducing the number of alcohol related incidents during those events. They also encourage parents to talk openly about underage drinking early on in their children’s lives. The CDC says that research has shown that when parents establish expectations of their teens when it comes to drinking and driving, there is less of a chance that their teen will take risks on the road.
Enacting laws has also helped reduce the number of underage drinkers who drive. The No Tolerance policy, which is enforced in all states, does not allow any alcohol in the system of a driver under 21 years old. They can be arrested, fined or lose their license if they are caught driving under the influence.
Another option that is being considered in some states is the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, which gives young drivers privileges as they move through stages of driving, starting with less risky situations. It can help them gain confidence in their driving skills before heading out on the road on their own. Teens with better driving skills who know the importance of safe driving habits will be less likely to take the risk of driving drunk or allowing friends to drive drunk.
Education, public policy and opening the dialogue with teens about the dangers of driving while drunk are all ways to work towards bringing these alarming numbers down. It’s an ongoing effort that should begin at a young age so that parents can raise responsible, safe drivers.
Dependable Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC | Legacy
If your teenage son or daughter has a problem with alcohol, contact Legacy today to talk to an admissions counselor about our programs for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC for teens. We are here to give you the support you need to get your teen on the road to recovery. Our personalized treatment plans will ensure that your child will be able to find a solution that works. Because we offer outpatient programs, he or she can continue to go to school while getting help. Call us today to speak with an admissions counselor.