Because it is National Teen Driver Safety Week, our Illinois car accident attorneys thought it was be important to discuss the issue of alcohol use among teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest cause of death amongst teenagers today is fatal car crashes. Teen drivers greatly increase their risk for serious injuries or even death when alcohol is involved. However, due to “high-visibility enforcement,” there has been an overall decrease in teen drinking, and also an overall decrease in car accidents involving teens that are alcohol related.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers online tools that our readers can use to review the dangers of underage drinking and drinking while driving. The NHTSA website also offers an excellent Community How-To Guide on its Underage Drinking Prevention website. The site not only offers tips for community leaders on how to address the issue of underage drinking and driving, but also reviews why it is important to prevent teens from partaking in underage drinking altogether.
The main reason why prevention is so important is because teenage bodies are still going through many physical changes and still developing. Their lack of experience and knowledge with alcohol can cause serious harm and injury to their bodies and especially their brains. Our Chicago car crash lawyers want to reiterate how seriously alcohol can impair the coordination of a driver, especially a teen driver who is so inexperienced with both driving and drinking separately.
Websites such as SADD.com, are great resources created for teens and run by students. Students Against Destructive Decisions reported that in 2008, almost 13% of people 12 years old and higher drove drunk at least once during the year. In the same year, close to 12,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents, which accounted for almost one third of all fatal car accidents. Also, impaired driving fatalities have almost double the likeliness for drivers who are between the ages of 18 and 20 than those who are over 21 years old. These statistics reveal the ongoing safety risk that drunk drivers pose, and highlight the need for ongoing programs to remind teens of the dangers of drunk driving.
As we have said before, in order to avoid this type of injury or even fatality, the easiest solution is to avoid drug or alcohol use, especially while driving. Driving under the influence is 100% preventable and it is crucial that drivers learn to make smart decisions at an early age. Teens who have been drinking should never get in the car with a driver who has been drinking or drive their own car.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys encourage our parent readers to talk with their teens about the dangers of impaired driving. It is important that teens know that driving under the influence can cause serious injuries and even death, and is completely avoidable and preventable. We encourage all of our readers to discuss this very serious topic with their teenager, in hopes that the number of teen fatalities related to alcohol will continue to decrease.