It is no secret that some teens experiment with drugs, alcohol, and other substances to avoid problems or to fit in. Although this should always be discouraged, it’s particularly hazardous when combined with driving. Impaired driving affects judgment, reaction times, and awareness, which is especially dangerous for teen drivers, who crash at four times the rate of adults primarily due to lack of driving skills, as well as inexperience.
- In the first large scale study to estimate the risk associated with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs conducted by NHTSA, 22 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety, including weed, other illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter 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.
- Every day, almost 30 people in the US die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.
- 41 percent of teen drivers who died in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, and nearly a quarter of teen passengers admit to riding with someone who had been drinking.
Talk to your teen about the dangers of impaired driving and help your teen 'Avoid the Regret, Avoid Impaired Driving,' the theme of this year's National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW). The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia iss joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote this theme during NTDSW and throughout the year. Download the Parent Guide to help your teen take action to avoid impaired driving -- as a driver, as a passenger, and as a friend.