Public health experts across the world are focusing on young driver safety. In the UK, officials have calling for “a frank and open public debate” on the issue. According to The Information Daily, government officials are dragging their feet in addressing the issue even though it could wind up saving both lives and money.
In January of last year, the government claimed that it would create resource on young driver safety but were still promising come December, stating that they were “wrestling with the issues”. As it stands now, motor-vehicle accidents account for close to 30 percent of the fatalities experienced by 15- to 19-year-olds.
It’s not much better here in the U.S.
Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand that, at all levels of blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20 percent of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were drinking.
Auto crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and about a quarter involve an underage drinking driver, reports Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
Teen fatalities make up one-fifth of all alcohol-related crashes, though licensed teens make up only about 6 percent of the overall licensed population.
Underage Drinking Statistics:
-About a third of all drunk driving fatalities happen to people ages 16-20.
-There are close to 11 million underage drinkers in the U.S.
-One in six teens binge drink.
-Only about 1 percent of parents believe that their teen binge drinks.
Many teens and young adults think they can drive after a “few” drinks, but the facts don’t lie.
In 2007, roughly 65 percent of young drivers in passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were not wearing a safety belt.
Even when their blood-alcohol contents (BACs) are not high, young drinkers are involved in driving accidents at higher rates than older drivers with similar BACs.
While officials may be having a tough time keeping their eyes on our youngest drivers, parents can step in and make all the difference. Sit down and talk with your child about the risks and consequences of drunk driving. They may not be able to legally purchase and consume alcohol, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t. Teens are most likely to take their parents’ advice and instruction. Have the talk today. It could wind up saving a life tomorrow.
Have your teen sign a contract to never drink and drive. Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) provides a free online contract to download. It may help them pause for just the one second they need to not get behind that wheel. Stress to your teen that drinking and driving–either as the driver or passenger–means an automatic loss of his or her driving license. Then make a pact: if your teen calls for a ride, he can keep that license.
Call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Alleged Drunk Natick Driver Reports Own Accident, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2014
Easton Man Arrested on 8th Drunk Driving Charge, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, January 21, 2014