Increasing numbers of teens are opting to binge drink, engage in “extreme” binge drinking, or engage in other dangerous behaviors such as driving after smoking marijuana. Teens making dangerous decisions with drugs or alcohol make the roads less safe both for these young motorists and for others who share the roadways.
Changing attitudes about marijuana are one possible explanation for teens making increasingly risky choices behind the wheel. Both schools and parents need to acknowledge cultural shifts related to marijuana use and should talk to young people about the inherent dangers of driving while intoxicated. Victims of accidents with teens who are either drunk or high should also understand their legal rights and may wish to consult with a drunk driving accident attorney in Detroit for assistance.
Teens Increasingly Engaged in High-Risk Behavior
Data demonstrating the increase in teens driving while high comes from the Monitoring the Future Project, which conducts annual surveys of young people. An estimated 170,000 high school seniors from 135 different schools nationwide were interviewed as part of the Monitoring the Future Project, and teen responses to key questions are compared across different survey years to identify trends in teen behavior.
NBC News reports that much of the data from the recent surveys has shown teens increasingly making dangerous choices. In 2011, for example, 28 percent of high school seniors admitted to driving while high in the past year or to driving with someone who has high. This is a ten percent increase in the number of teenagers behind the wheel stoned as compared with 2008.
A University of Michigan study published around the same time as the Monitoring the Future Project also revealed that 10 percent of high school seniors have engaged in extreme binge drinking, which is defined as consuming 10 or more alcohol drinks in one sitting. More than one in ten high school seniors consumed at least 10 drinks, and more than one out of 20 seniors said they had drank 15 or more drinks in a row at least one time in the prior two weeks.
What this Means for Auto Accident Risks – And What Parents & Schools Can Do
Higher numbers of teens abusing alcohol and/or driving while stoned can significantly increase the risk of accidents by affecting driving ability, reaction-time, and decision-making skills. Teen drivers who are impaired are more than twice as likely to be involved in an accident than those who are sober.
The increase in teens driving while high may be explained, in part, by a shift to decriminalize marijuana that has been gaining significant traction. However, while marijuana may be approved for medicinal and even recreational use in some states, it remains dangerous to drive while under the influence of drugs. Schools and parents should emphasize that marijuana is not a risk-free drug and should make clear the risks of driving while high or after consuming drinks.
A Detroit drunk driving accident attorney can assist with your car accident case. Call the Law Offices of Gary Bloom today at 1-800-872-7119 for a free case evaluation.