Teenagers who have been drinking and subsequently decide to drive can pose a major threat to other drivers and themselves. Due to summer break, teens have extra time for fun activities and have more time on their hands than during the school semesters.
The time between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays has been branded “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. In addition to being young and inexperienced on the road, teenage drivers are more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior. Distracted driving typically includes texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to other passengers, listening to loud music, or using a navigation system. These activities, while driving, can pose significant threats to the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Along with these activities, teens are already a danger on the road, but mix in alcohol and the consequences could be deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10 percent of high school students drank alcohol and drove in 2013. Further, approximately 22 percent of high school students rode in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Although these numbers are high, this is a decrease of 50 percent from the number of teens who drank and drove since 1991.
However, even though the number of teens who drink and drive has decreased in the last 24 years, there is still cause for concern. In 2012, 23 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had been drinking. Additionally, 71 percent of teen drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing seat belts.
Parents or guardians of teens can take some proactive measures to keep them from drinking and driving. First, a parent or guardian should ensure his or her teen understands the rules and penalties for driving under the influence or getting a ride from someone who has been drinking. Second, let your teen know to call you or another responsible adult to pick him or her up from any situation where he, she or other people have been drinking. Last, if you suspect your teen has been drinking and driving, check for signs when he or she walks in the door.
The consequence of drinking and driving can cause serious injuries, including death. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a car accident involving drinking and driving, it is important to understand your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884 for a confidential consultation.