Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Sobering Facts of Teen Drinking and Driving

Did you know that the amount of teens who drink and drive has decreased drastically, but there is still more that we can do to stop it from happening.

Recent studies show that teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash. 

*High school students aged 16 years and older who, when surveyed, said they had driven a vehicle one or more times during the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol.*

Fewer teens are drinking and driving, but this risky behaviour is still a major threat.
  •  Drinking and driving among teens in high school has gone down by 54% since 1991. Still, high school teens drive after drinking about 2.4 million times a month.
  •  85% of teens in high school who report drinking and driving in the past month also say they binge drank. In the survey, binge drinking was defined as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a couple of hours.
  •  1 in 5 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol in their system in 2010. Most of these drivers (81%) had BACs* higher than the legal limit for adults.
*Blood alcohol concentration. The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100ml.

What Can Be Done

Communities can
  • Increase awareness among teens and parents by getting involved with non-profit organisations such as NICRO.
  • Strengthen enforcement of existing policies, such as minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws.
Paediatricians, NICRO and other health professionals can
  • Test teens for risky behaviours, such as:
- Using alcohol, drugs or other dangerous substances
- Driving after alcohol or drug use
- Riding with a driver who has been using alcohol or drugs
  • Inform parents and teens about the risks of drinking and driving.
  • Encourage parents of new teen drivers to set and enforce the "rules of the road" and consider tools like parent-teen driving agreements.
  • Remind parents to lead by example as safe drivers, starting even before their child is old enough to drive.
Teens can
  • Be smart and choose to never drink and drive.
  • Refuse to ride in a car with any driver who has been drinking.
  • Know and follow the laws.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Wear a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • NEVER use a cell phone or text while driving.
Parents can
  • Understand that most teens who drink only do it to get drunk and have fun.
  • Recognize the dangers of teen drinking and driving and that teen drivers are at much greater risk of crashing after drinking alcohol than adult drivers.
  • Provide teens with a safe way to get home (such as picking them up or paying for a cab) if their driver has been drinking.
  • Model safe driving behaviour.
All around the world teens can get a driver's license, some even as young as 15 can get one! And even though these drivers cannot buy alcohol or drink it until a certain age, they are and it is creating some shocking drunk driving statistics!

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