Although drunk driving has decreased among young drivers, drivers under the age of 24 are over-represented in alcohol-related driving accidents.  In 2008, people aged 16 to 24 were involved in 28 percent of all alcohol-related driving accidents, although this age group makes up only 14% of the U.S. population.  This age group is also over-represented in drinking-related driver injuries and car crash deaths. 
Even when their blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) are not above the legal limit of .08, young drivers who have been drinking tend to be involved in DUI driving accidents at higher rates than older drivers with similar blood alcohol levels.  There are several reasons for this:
• Younger drivers have less driving experience. 
• Younger drinkers have less experience with the effects of alcohol and may not be able to recognize when they are too impaired to drive.
• Young people are more likely to use illegal drugs or to combine alcohol with both legal and illegal drugs.
• Young men often have a false sense of invincibility and immortality
Fortunately, drunk driving accidents are declining among young people (and among the general population).   Deaths of young drivers (those 16 to 24 years of age) associated with driving under the influence of alcohol decreased 47% in a recent 15-year period. 
However, every young life lost to a drunk driving accident is one life too many.
Parents can take the following steps to prevent Missouri drunk driving crashes:
• Never condone or approve of intoxication. Intoxicated behavior is dangerous and never amusing.
• Let your child know he or she can call for a ride anytime without judgment.
• Don't ever let your child’s friends drive home after drinking. Take away their keys, have them stay the night, or have them ride home with someone else.  
Most importantly, make sure your child knows how important safe driving is.  According to The Partnership for Safe Driving, both speeding and distracted driving are much more serious problems for teens than driving under the influence. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, alcohol is not a factor for seventy percent of teens killed in traffic accidents.

Have You Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?

If you've been injured by a drunk driver you need to speak with an experienced drunk driving victim attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

Learn more about the rights of Kansas City drunk driving accident victims in our free on-line book: “10 Essential Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Injury Claim.”
James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.