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Teens and Dangerous Driving

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car crash lawyer, teenage drinking and driving,Alcohol has long been considered the most dangerous factor that impairs drivers on the road. According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and as reported by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD),the rate of drunk driving is highest among young drivers — 23.4 percent of all reported drunk drivers are 21 to 25 years old. This is likely because of social norms that dictate young adults are the most common bar patrons; it may also have to do with the fact that younger drivers may not yet have systems in place to ensure that a designated driver is present.

The numbers are even more dire for drivers who are not even yet technically legal to drink ever: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers aged 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have an illegal blood alcohol content (above .08 percent) than if they were not drinking at all.

It is not all bad news when it comes to teens and drinking, however. The CDC reports that since 1991, the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has declined 54 percent. While this is a significant decline, the CDC also reports that in 2011 nearly 1 million teens drank and drove.

Alcohol is not the only dangerous factor that disproportionately affects teenagers behind the wheel. The use of recent technological innovations — primarily cell phones — are to blame for a significant number of crashes, and teenagers are more susceptible to these types of accidents as well. Texting behind the wheel is actually more statistically dangerous than drinking. In one study, the Transport Research Laboratory recruited a sample of young drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 to test their response times when occupied with technological devices and when under the influence. Those who were occupied with text messages showed a slowed reaction time by 35 percent. Drunk driers showed a 12 percent decrease in reaction time; cannabis-intoxicated drivers showed a 21 percent slower reaction time.

This, of course, goes to show that texting while driving — while seemingly more benign than alcohol — is actually more dangerous.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in which a teen driver was at fault, you are likely eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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