A disturbing trend that appears to be emerging among teenagers is that that one in five teens believe it’s okay for their designated driver to drink and use drugs, as long as they’re not “too impaired.” This mindset is extremely dangerous, which unfortunately costs lives of not only some of the teens involved, but potentially also to innocent people on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), About 18 percent of fatal crashes involving 16 – 20 yr-olds included impaired drivers. Overall, more than 30 percent of the total deaths (about 10,000 lives lost) are alcohol-related each year.
Bloomberg reports that the information from the survey was provided by Liberty Mutual Holding. David Melton, managing director for global safety at Liberty Mutual, told Bloomberg that teens ““seem to think that unless they’re really falling-down drunk, that it’s OK for them to drive.”
Teens today are bombarded with a pop culture attitude that “partying” as much as possible is good. Reality show after reality show aimed at young people include drunk, obnoxious and irresponsible behavior that is popularized and even glamorized. Additionally, music in multiple genres today are heavily-laden with references about drinking, from pop and country to hip-hop and more.
In order to reverse trends such as the one mentioned in the survey, a full cultural shift must take place into one that doesn’t condone such behavior.