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Are fewer teens getting involved in drunk driving crashes?

Though many teens hate when their parents are repetitive, perhaps there is some benefit to redundancy. This can be demonstrated by the reduction in the number of younger drivers drinking and driving. The multiple documentaries, high school demonstrations and awareness campaigns have paid off, as there was a 38 percent reduction of young adults aged 21 and up drinking and driving in 2014 than there were in 2002. The rate fell even more dramatically in teens, falling from 16.2 in 2002 to 6.6 percent in 2014.

The survey, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, identified a few factors that may have led to this trend, such as educational campaigns and sobriety checkpoints. However, before Ohio residents take the collective deep breath of relief, they should know that there are still a number of young drivers who engage in the risky behavior of drinking and driving.

The survey asked if young adults had driven while intoxicated in the last 12 months in 2014, and 18 percent of adults between the ages of 21 and 25 admitted to engaging in the dangerous behavior. Of the 2,163 teens who died in fatal drunk driving accidents in 2013, 17 percent were drunk.

Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, not just for the drunk driver but for everyone else on the road at that time. When someone is injured or dies in a drunk driving accident, many people's lives are affected-the accident victims, the drunk drivers and the families and loved ones of those involved. Though it is not possible to replace what they have lost, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver may be one way to hold them accountable for their negligent behavior.

Source: MPR News, "This generation of teens is drinking and driving less," Angus Chen, Dec. 11, 2015

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