Survey finds almost 25 percent of teens drink and drive

Many parents of teenagers in Edwardsville worry about their teens getting behind the wheel. Car accident rates are high for these young drivers, and many parents worry about whether their children have the experience and sense of responsibility that it takes to be as safe as possible out on the roads. According to a recent survey, parents should also be very concerned about whether their children know well enough not to drink and drive.

It may come as a shock to some, but a survey produced by Students Against Destructive Decisions and the insurer Liberty Mutual found that 23 percent of teens admit to having driven while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana. The survey involved just over 1,700 11th- and 12th-grade students.

Perhaps even worse than this statistic is the fact that 20 percent of those teens who do drink and drive said that they think driving drunk actually improves their driving. Thirty-four percent of those who drive while under the influence of marijuana said that marijuana use improves their driving.

While the findings in this survey may be very disturbing to some, it is not news that many teenagers tend to think that they are invincible. Unfortunately, we know that they are not and car accidents are actually the leading cause of death for teenagers.

Parents who have teenage drivers should be sure to educate their teens on the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs–or getting into the car with a driver who is drunk or otherwise impaired. In addition to the risks of sustaining or causing injuries and death to another, drunk drivers may be held liable for car accidents and they also may face criminal penalties. It is very important that Edwardsville teenagers understand and respect the serious dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Source: USA Today, “Survey: Nearly a quarter of teens drive while impaired,” Larry Copeland, April 25, 2013