How Impaired Driving Is Endangering the Youth Today

Vehicular accidents are known to be a leading cause of death among teenagers aged 15 to 19 years old, and parents and guardians around the country find this alarming. Read this article below to find out how impaired driving affects teen drivers.

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Teenage Driver

Liberty Mutual

Here are a few alarming statistics to ponder upon:

  • Teens comprise 10% of the population that have an authorized driver’s license, yet they make up the highest rate of road accidents among all the age groups
  • Teens at the age of 19 are more likely to be involved in a car accident
  • Accidents caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol make up 55% of those crashes
  • 33.4% of impairment-related traffic deaths involve drivers aged 16 to 25

Traffic accidents are often caused by a teen’s immaturity and inexperience in driving. An adolescent’s mind is not as well-developed as that of an adult’s, so their inability to make smart decisions places their lives at risk.

How Underage Drinking Has Affected the Youth

Drinking and driving is a deadly practice that needs to be stopped. Each year, a teenager loses their life from driving under the influence, leaving their loved ones heartbroken. The first way to address this is to understand how alcohol works.

Alcohol is a depressant. It affects the body by slowing down its natural ability to function, so everything from coordination, focus, and even judgement is impaired. This should not be determined by the amount taken as even consuming just a little amount of alcohol can affect the nervous system. What’s more alarming is that most teens engage in binge-drinking, which is characterized by drinking more than one glass in a single hour. That and the fact that they are still inexperienced in driving put their lives at risk, often resulting in tragic accidents.

Statistics on Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Teenagers

Drunk Driving

  • Gender: males compose 89% of serious injuries and 87% of fatal vehicular accidents involving alcohol-induced drivers
  • Season: teens are likely to be involved in deadly accidents during the summertime, the risk is increased by 32.4% for fatalities while injuries continue to be on the rise at 40.8%
  • The numbers above are compared to wintertime wherein 8% of teens are killed and 11.4% are injured
  • Time of the day/week: a majority of accidents happen at night and primarily during weekend
  • Age: older teens, mostly 19-year-olds make up the biggest percentage of these accidents
  • The fatally injured teenage driver who had been consuming large amount of alcohol is accountable for 2/3 of the accidents
  • Teens are more likely to be involved in an accident if they drive an automobile
  • Young drivers under the influence find themselves involved in single-vehicle crashes rather than colliding with another vehicle on the road
  • A blood alcohol level of .10% increases the risk of a fatal crash by 51 times

How Drug-Impaired Driving Is Even More Dangerous

Impaired driving affects teen drivers extremely, but even more does drug-impaired driving affect these young drivers. Driving under the influence of drugs, whether prescribed or illegal, is just as deadly as alcohol-impaired driving. But what makes this even more dangerous is that the numbers continue to be on the rise. In the United States, studies have shown that drug use is becoming more popular among teens than alcohol.

Like alcohol, it is important to raise awareness on how drug use can drastically affect the body. Marijuana is known to slow down reaction time, impair overall judgement, and decrease coordination. Methamphetamine and cocaine are just as life-threatening as it can result in aggressive and reckless driving. There are also sedatives called benzodiazepines that are widely distributed to teens. This drug can cause dizziness and drowsiness, increasing the risk for vehicle crashes.

Statistics on Drug-Impaired Driving Among Teenagers

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year 2014
  • 32% of teens think that the influence of cannabis can be just as bad as alcohol, and 25% of parents share the same sentiments
  • 47% of drivers who tested positive for drugs had used a prescription drug
  • 37% of those had used marijuana
  • 10% had admitted to driving under the influence of cocaine

It is alarming how many consider smoking cannabis can be safer than drinking alcohol, when it actually has similar effects. According to a 2012 study conducted by the Dalhousie University of Halifax, smoking cannabis three hours before driving doubles the risk for a vehicular accident. A more deadly practice is combining both alcohol and cannabis, which can cause many people to completely black out while driving.

Detecting a drugged driver can be challenging for authorities as there is no roadside drug test that can easily determine if the person is under the influence. But a person’s appearance and actions are enough for them to charge a DUI arrest. Penalties may range from a suspended license to even jail time.

Graduated Licensing Programs and Strict Laws Can Save a Young Driver’s Life

Graduated licensing programs have been implemented across all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1996 and 2011. This allows teens to adjust to driving gradually, so they are more prepared for the challenges on the road. Under this program is regulating the number of passengers and prohibiting late-night driving.

Confiscated Driver's License

Patton & Patton

Fatal crashes have been greatly reduced following the implementation of these programs since they provide mandatory restrictions among young drivers. This, combined with mandatory seat belt laws and zero tolerance for underage drinking, has greatly reduced fatal crashes.

Researchers have found that the rate of young drivers killed by single vehicle crashes have significantly dropped after adopting the graduated licensing laws. These laws have been effective at reducing substance-related fatalities over the years. Young drivers can greatly benefit from a graduated licensing program, and parents should do their part and guide them throughout the process.

GPS Tracking Monitors Risky Behavior

The biggest disadvantage a young driver has on the road is their inexperience. They are more or less likely to fail in making responsible decisions, which makes them more at risk than their older counterparts. Parents and guardians can take control of the situation by taking advantage of the technology we have today. A variety of GPS tracking systems are currently available in the market. They are specifically designed to provide convenience and safety for both teenagers and parents.

Trackimo is a GPS tracking device that can be easily hardwired to a vehicle, reducing the need for constant recharging. It comes with a mobile application that makes tracking easier as well. Users can also make use of the device’s geo-fencing feature to set speed thresholds. Trackimo will alert you if the vehicle goes beyond the boundaries or the speed threshold set.

A GPS tracking system will avert teens from displaying any negative behavior and will reduce the stress and anxiety teenage driving causes to parents. To be able to check and communicate with your teen driver is crucial. Installing a GPS keeps children safe behind the wheel, and it is the most cost-effective option there is.



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Let us help you. We’d be delighted to answer any tracking questions you have or discuss the options in more details
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Or read about our GPS tracking system for teens to learn more.
Amanda Thomas