Decline in Teen DUI Rates

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by | Sep 26, 2013 | Auto Accidents

According to a new analysis, the rates of teenage DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol have dropped since 2001. However, in a worrying trend, over the last three years, there has been a slight increase in the number of teenage motorists driving after smoking marijuana.

According to the results of new research, courtesy the Monitoring the Future project, which analyzed responses involving 17,000 high school seniors, over the past two weeks, at least one in four high school seniors admitted to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or traveling in a car with a driver who had. That was a drop of 4% from the statistics back in 2001. However, when it came to driving after smoking marijuana, there was actually a spike in the number of motorists who admitted to doing so.

Approximately 28 % of high school seniors have traveled in a car with an intoxicated motorist, or driven after using drugs or alcohol, placing them at risk of a car accident.  That was a welcome decline from statistics back in 2001, which held the number at 32%.  The number of teenagers who admitted to driving after smoking marijuana increased from 10% in 2008 to 12% in 2011.

It’s been clear for years now that the problems involving teenage impaired driving are related not just to alcohol, but also to driving after using drugs, and smoking marijuana. Using drugs and alcohol can severely impair a person’s driving, significantly increasing his or her risk of being involved in an accident. Alcohol and drugs cloud a person’s judgment skills, delay responses and reaction times, and as a result, the person is much more likely to be involved in a collision.

Doug Horn is a Kansas City car accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of motor vehicle accidents across Missouri.

Additionally, Horn is founder of Drive By Example, a community service organization dedicated to advocating driver’s safety, including teem driver protection.