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Teen Drivers and Booze Don’t Mix

Teenagers and risky behavior go hand in hand. While drunk driving is often lethal for adults, teens are at an even greater risk. A recent CDC study found that almost one million of them drove after drinking and that the likelihood of a teen driver getting into a fatal crash is three times greater than for older drivers. MADD contends that the top cause of death among teenagers is traffic accidents, with 45 percent of those fatalities caused by impaired drivers.

Beyond Sloppy

While run-of-the-mill intoxicated people lose neuron activity and motor control and suffer compromised concentration, judgment, and even vision, underage drinkers also lack driving experience that makes them more dangerous drivers while sober.

In addition to that, the age group is often guilty of distracted driving, especially via cellphone use, clowning around, or talking to their passengers. The sad reality is that it’s often a car full of teenagers hurt and killed in drunk driving accidents. For in-depth data about what alcohol does to your body, click here.

Why Are Teens So Reckless?

The prefrontal cortex of teenage brains, which manages emotion regulation and impulse control, is still being developed until about age twenty-four. And then peer pressure and adrenaline make saying no to booze and speeding hard.

Risky behavior delivers a dopamine rush of making someone “feel alive” and is highest during mid to late adolescence. Carolyn Swinson, former National Board Chair of Canada’s MADD organization has been cited as saying that more than one factor is often involved in a teen crash, such as some mixture of “speed, inexperience, the lack of seat belt, and alcohol.”

What Helps

Designated Drivers

While fear of missing out might make partygoers loathe to abstain from drinking and play chauffeur, these optimistic and clever tips help designated drivers own and even enjoy their role as the responsible one.


Parental Involvement

Parents of friends can work together to provide safe rides for their kids. Teens get into crashes in groups horrifyingly often, and this practice can go a long way toward preventing that. Parents can also educate their kids and provide them with ways to combat peer pressure.

Zero Tolerance Laws

These measures instituted in some states have shown improvements in under age drunk driving stats. They bust teens who have any detectable drop of alcohol in their systems. They also help raise awareness for teens who are tempted and put the fear of the law into them.

If It Already Happened

If the worst has already happened and your teen has been hurt in a drunk driving crash, or if you’ve been hurt by a drunk teenage driver, you’ll almost certainly need compensation from the at-fault party to pay for the medical care your recovery will require. If you’re in Massachusetts like our firm is, then you’ll first need to seek compensation from your own no-fault insurance policy.

Either way, an auto wreck attorney in Boston with experience handling claims involving teens and alcohol can help you deal with the insurers and resolve your accident claim in the most successful way possible.

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