The teenage years are exciting for many reasons…
There are so many new freedoms and new adventures at that stage of life.
Sadly, it can also be a dangerous time – particularly when it comes to driving. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for 18-25 year olds. And 1 in 5 of 16-year-old drivers has an accident within their first year of driving.
First – the entire experience of driving is new. And many of the challenges that one encounters as a lifelong driver are as yet unfamiliar to the new driver. Then there is the danger that cell phones pose and the distractions of texting and talking.
Perhaps the greatest dangers to a young driver are the dangers as old as time – drugs and alcohol. Did you know that according to a recent Columbia University study, over 57% of the fatal car crashes involving a teen in Connecticut and across the U.S. involve a teen who was either drinking or using drugs or both?
The increasing availability of marijuana – in some instances legally – is a cause for new concerns.
“Given the rapid changes currently underway in marijuana availability and permissibility in the U.S., understanding the effects of drug control policies on substance use behavior and adverse health outcomes, such as fatal motor vehicle crashes, has never been more important,” study researcher Katherine Keyes, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said in a statement.
There has been a move – particularly on some university campuses – to lower the drinking age to 18 in the hope of reducing drug use among this age group. Sadly – another study shows that increasing access to alcohol also increases by 22% the frequency with which kids double-up, ingesting both drugs and alcohol simultaneously.
What can you do as a parent?
- First and always – lead by example. Don’t drink and drive or use drugs and drive – ever.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers… and give them the hard numbers about the risks.
- Encourage them to be smart – and always have a sober driver to rely on.
If you or a loved one are ever injured in a car accident, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people just like you for 60 years. And we’ve received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you’re ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.