traffic fatalities

New Survey Shows 20 Percent of Teens Think It’s OK for Designated Driver to Drink

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.

Nearly 20 Percent of Drinkers Drove Near or Over Legal Limit in Past Year

aaaAs if the roads weren’t dangerous enough since the population continues to grow, streets become more crowded and more drivers than ever are under the influence of some form of medication, news hit recently saying that nearly one-fifth of drinkers admitted to driving a car when they were near or over the legal limit for blood-alcohol level.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), their surveys showed an average of about 15 percent of drinkers admitted to driving near or over the limit combined in the past two years. Unfortunately many thousands of lives are lost each year due to alcohol-related traffic fatalities. These tragically preventable deaths continue to occur despite raising drinking ages, lowering BAC limits and increasing penalties for drunk driving.

The Holiday Season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day) is the most-traveled time of the year, and AAA estimates that about 95 million Americans will be traveling by cars to have celebrations with friends and family.

Please take precautions if your celebrations involve alcohol. Don’t let your loved ones drive drunk. You may not only save their lives, but also the lives of others on the road.