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Drunk Driving Causes Half of Teen Accident Deaths, According to Study


Car accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. residents ages 16-25, according to the CDC. However, research also indicates that in fully one-half of these accidents, alcohol or drug use played a key role.

Underage drinking – defined as drinking while under age 21 – is highly common. According to one study from the National Institutes of Health, 70 percent of 18-year-olds admit to drinking alcohol.

When a driver is under age 21, the only “legal limit” for blood alcohol concentration is zero. Nonetheless, alcohol is involved in 50 percent of all fatal teen car accidents. Of those accidents, 75 percent involved only alcohol, while the other 25 percent involved other drugs or alcohol in combination with other drugs.

Concerned about your teen driver? Here’s where to start:

  • Talk to your teen. Teens and young adults want to be more responsible – but they often need help gaining the perspective needed to make wise choices.
  • Discuss factors that can make driving dangerous. Drugs and alcohol are only two of the things that can make driving dangerous or even deadly. Talk about these, but also discuss ways to minimize distraction, the risks of driving while sleepy, and other potential problems. And don’t forget about prescribed or over the counter medications, which can make it just as difficult to drive.
  • Create an “escape plan.” If your teen is out with friends and faces pressure to drink, or to ride in a vehicle driven by someone who has been drinking, what safe options can they take to avoid an accident? Make sure they have what they need to call a taxi or take public transportation. Better yet, make yourself an option: If they need an “out,” they can call you and you’ll come pick them up – no questions asked.

Drunk or drugged driving causes serious accidents and injuries every year – and it can devastate lives. If you’ve been injured in a crash, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced California car accident lawyer who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, call The Paris Firm today at 909.551.4040.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.




Our founder, attorney Eric D. Paris, has represented injured people in Southern California for more than 22 years. Prior to founding The Paris Firm, Mr. Paris worked as an insurance defense lawyer, which gave him great insight to the insurance companies evaluation of claims and their tactics to minimize your recovery for your injury matter. You will personally meet with an attorney and your case will be handled by an attorney with the assistance of our paralegals and support staff.

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