Alcohol and Pot a Dangerous Mix for Young Drivers

Live Science recently published an article stating that half of the teen and young drivers who are killed in car crashes are under the influence of either alcohol or pot. Their findings came from a study focusing on states where crash victims are routinely checked for drug or alcohol use within an hour of an accident.

Teen and Young Adult Auto Accident Statistic

The study found that crash victims who were over the age of 21 were more likely than younger victims to have used both alcohol and pot before their crash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that young adults, ages 18-24, have the highest crash-related injury rates of all adults. Live Science says that car crashes are the leading cause of death of 18 to 25-year olds in the United States.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the crash rate per mile driven for 16-19-year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers 20 and older. The risk is highest for 16-17-year-olds.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or pot is a major factor in many of these crashes. In 2012, NHTSA statistics showed that 28% of teen drivers, age 15 to 20, who were killed in crashes, had been drinking. A 2012 study by the journal Addiction found that 57.3 percent of the young adult drivers who were involved in crashes were under the influence of alcohol or another substance.

Although toxicology tests are not routinely done in all states, a study of crashes in states where they are performed found that half of the young drivers were drunk or high at the time of the crash, with most being under the influence of alcohol.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has published some startling facts regarding teens and young adults and alcohol use. They have reported that almost half of all tenth graders drink alcohol and that the rate of drunk driving is highest among 21 to 25-year-olds. Another startling fact is that in 2012, 239 passengers (under age 15) were killed in drunk driving crashes, representing 20% of all child traffic fatalities. More than half of these children and teens were passengers in a vehicle with a drunk driver.

Personal injury lawyers at Fellerman Ciarimboli share the following tips to keep your teens safe when driving

  • Set clear rules regarding curfews.
  • Let your teen know that you the use of alcohol and drugs will not be tolerated. Let them know they are never to get into a car with someone who is under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
  • Set rules regarding the number of passengers in your teen’s car. The NHTSA reports that the risk of an accident increases with the number of passengers in your teen’s vehicle.
  • Lead by example. Never drink and drive, always wear a seatbelt, drive safely and follow all of the rules of the road.
  • Let your teens know the importance of obeying posted speed limits and other signs.
  • Let your teens know they need to drive free from distractions, including cell phones and other mobile devices.

The auto accident attorneys at Fellerman Ciarimboli encourage you to stress the importance of driving safely to your teens. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car crash, the personal injury lawyers at Fellerman Ciarimboli can help. Call today for a free consultation. Call our Wilkes-Barre office at 570-714-4878 or our Philadelphia office at 215-575-9237.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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