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Increased Risk of Teen Drunk Driving During the Summer

Steve Wagner

Teen Drunk Driving Increases Risky Behavior Road Threats

Drivers are currently traveling during one of the deadliest times of the year to be on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1000 people are killed in traffic accidents during the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day and more than half of those killed are teenagers. Although drivers under the age of 21 represent a small portion of licensed drivers, teens and young drivers are responsible for 17 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes. Approximately 2,000 underage drinkers die each year while operating a motor vehicle leaving alcohol as the major contributor in a third of all teenage car wreck fatalities.

Parents Can Help Keep Teen Drivers Safe

Teen drivers are more often on the road during summer months, with fewer obligations than adults. They often spend their time driving around with friends, enjoying activities and parties that can often involve alcohol. Since teens have a tendency to binge drink, they are more reckless, and make poor driving decisions like not wearing a seatbelt.

There are several factors that can help keep young people safe from car crashes during the summer and prevent them from driving drunk. Most include parental involvement, the minimum legal drinking age and Indiana’s zero tolerance laws. These steps can protect the lives of young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them.

  • Let your teen driver know not to drink and drive because the consequences can be deadly for themselves and others. Not even one drink is OK. Remind them to never get in a car with a friend who has been drinking.
  • Teens (and all drivers alike) should wear a seat belt at all times. Seatbelts will significantly reduce their risk of serious injury if they are driving drunk or traveling with someone who is.
  • Remind your teen of Indiana’s drunk driving laws and the consequences. The drinking age in Indiana is 21 and consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 is illegal with no exceptions. Because underage drinkers cause a disproportionate number of alcohol-related auto fatalities, the standards are stricter and the penalties harsher for those under 21. Indiana has a “zero tolerance” policy for driving and alcohol use by those who are under 21 years old.
  • Create a code and encourage your teen to use their phone to text you to let you know they need your help but are worried about what friends may say. For example, your teen may text your pet’s name to you or write “I think I’m having a problem with my allergies, can you meet me here?” when they want to get out of a situation and not feel embarrassed. Remind them of the code often, especially during busy summer months when they may be traveling with friends more often.

No Risk Drunk Driving Attorneys

If you or your family members were injured as the result of the poor decisions of a teen driver, the drunk driving accident attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve and may need for medical care and to cover a loss of wages while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any kind of fee unless your case is settled or won. Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

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