Unfortunately, there are many statistics of teenage drunk driving and they are both frightening and preventable.
Why Do Teens Drink And Drive?
Statistics suggest that 60 percent of teenage deaths in car accidents are related to alcohol. Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death among teens aged 15 to 20. Even further exacerbating the situation, 70 percent of teens still drink alcohol. Why? The following are some reasons why teenagers begin drinking alcohol:
- Peer Pressure
- Mass Media
- Availability (party, friends, etc.)
- Thinking alcohol is cool due to friends, television, or movies
- Not knowing any better
A few reasons why a teen may drink and then get behind the wheel:
- Not knowing that it is wrong
- Not wanting to get in trouble by calling parents, friends, etc.
- Feeling like there isn't another way to get home
- Thinking that it is not a big deal
- Feeling that it is okay since other teens may do it
- Not thinking about the consequences
While there are may be many reasons why teens drink and drive, they do not serve as a justification for it.
Statistics of Teenage Drunk Driving
The statistics of teenage drunk driving generally fall into one of three categories:
- Risk factors
- Behind the wheel
- For all teens, the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle accident is greater than it is for older drivers. In other words, teens who drink and drive are more likely to get into an accident than if their parents drink and drive. In fact, a teenage boy with a .05 blood alcohol concentration (legally, well below 'drunk') is 18 times more likely to suffer an accident than a teen who does not drink.
- Three out of four teen drivers that were killed in a crash resulting from drinking and driving were not wearing their seatbelts. Minority teens, such as African Americans, are even less likely to wear their seatbelt in the car than their Caucasian counterparts are.
- A study by SADD found that 28.5 percent of high school teens, during the last 30 days of taking the questionnaire, rode one or more times in a car with someone who had been drinking as the driver.
- Males are more likely to drink alcohol and drink. According to SADD,24 percent of teen men involved in crashes were drinking at the time of their accident compared with 12 percent of females.
Behind the Wheel
- Teens are more likely to engage in dangerous situations and hazardous circumstances.
- The same CDC study states that teens are more likely to speed and allow shorter distances between their vehicle and the car in front of them. Drinking would clearly exaggerate this problem.
- In 2003, 31 percent of teen drivers who died in accidents had been drinking prior to their accident.
- Half of teen deaths from motor vehicle accidents happen between 3:00 P.M. and midnight. Moreover, 54 percent happen on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
- Eight teens die daily as the result of an alcohol related car accident. Approximately 1,500 teens, ages 15 to 20, will die in car accidents every year.
- About 14 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that are fatal are due to teens driving.
There is no reason why a teen should drink and drive. There are always other things that can be done rather than getting behind the wheel. Don't let peer pressure or other influences affect the decision to not drink and drive. While part of being a teen is making mistakes and growing up, drunk driving is a mistake that you may have to carry with you for the rest of your life.