Get Behind National Teen Driver Safety Week: October 18-24, 2015
National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to preventable teen deaths and injuries on the road. This year’s theme is ‘Avoid the Regret – Avoid Impaired Driving.’ The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote this theme during NTDSW and throughout the year.
Many people, including teens, think that the best way to reach young adults is to “scare them straight.” This rarely works. It can be overwhelming and cause teens to shut down. Research shows that teens understand they are vulnerable and are well aware of many risks. So, focusing on avoiding regret can be a powerful message for teens. One of the major factors that increases the risk of a crash is driver impairment. Impaired driving not only includes alcohol or drug use, but also being distracted, tired, or strongly emotional.
During NTDSW take action to avoid impaired driving – as a driver, as a passenger, and as a friend. We've developed evidence-informed activities to do at your school. Access them here.
WHAT ALL TEENS SHOULD KNOW
- No one should drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs.
- Drivers do not need to be “acting drunk” to be impaired.
- There is no such thing as a “good drunk driver,” even if the driver has driven after drinking before and not crashed.
- Driving after drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs is breaking the law and showing disregard for the safety and well being of the driver, passengers, family, and community.
- Even if the driver seems “okay,” do not accept a ride from someone who has been drinking or using drugs. It doesn’t matter how short the trip.
- If you feel unsafe, call a friend of trusted adult to pick you up.
- In the first large scale study to estimate the risk associated with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, 22 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety: weed, other illegal drugs, and prescription/OTC medications.
- Although the number of drivers on the road with alcohol in their systems has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, there has been a large increase in impaired driving from these other substances.
- Impaired driving affects judgment, reaction times, and awareness, which is especially dangerous for teen drivers, who crash at four times the rate of adults.
- 41 percent of teen drivers who died in crashes were legally intoxicated, and nearly 25 percent of teen passengers admit to riding with someone who had been drinking.
- Being awake for 18 hours is similar to having a .08 BAC level, which is legally intoxicated.