Hundreds of teenagers die each year due to alcohol-related car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about one in three fatal car crashes involves a driver under the age of 21 who was impaired at the time of the crash. Among these teens, drunk driving is the leading cause of death.
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Although several states have zero-tolerance laws for alcohol, there are still a large number of teen drivers who are involved in fatal car crashes with alcohol in their systems. These young drivers are more likely to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.08 or higher, which is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 in all US states.
In 2010, more than one in five teen drivers involved in fatal car crashes were reported to have been drinking at the time of the accident. In addition, approximately 50 percent of teens who died in car crashes were passengers. In many cases, these young drivers were not wearing their seat belts, which increases the risk of serious injuries. In most teen motor vehicle accidents, the crash occurred between six and nine p.m. and on weekends.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks the number of alcohol-related teen deaths. In 2015, there were over 1,000 teen deaths due to drunk driving. Those numbers are expected to increase in the next few years.
The CDC also reports that nearly half of the teens who were involved in a fatal crash had a blood alcohol concentration of.08 or higher at the time of the crash. While alcohol is not dangerous for adults, it can be deadly for teens. Several studies have shown that teenagers make poorer decisions when they are drunk, which puts them at higher risk for a crash.
In a study of high school students, the CDC found that about 2.4 million students reported driving in the past month after drinking. This is an alarming statistic, especially considering that the average American teenager is responsible for 4.6 motor vehicle accidents each year.
In a study of young male motorcycle riders, it was found that 26% were under the influence at the time of the crash. In addition, 35% were not wearing a helmet. In 2008, 346 young motorcycle riders were killed, and almost a third of them were drinking. In a survey of teen drivers, 7% of male teen drivers said that they had been riding with a drunk driver in the past month. The CDC recommends that parents talk to their teens about the consequences of drinking and driving. Having a family member or friend act as a confidential intermediary can also help to keep your teens safe.
In 2004, there were a total of 11,524 motor vehicle-related deaths among young people. These young drivers accounted for one-quarter of all alcohol-related traffic deaths. During the same period, there were 87,004 drivers ages 16 and 17 on Pennsylvania’s roads. In a recent survey of high school students, 5% said that they had been drinking in the past month.
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