Drunk Driving Accidents in Philadelphia – Teens at Highest Risk

NBC10 reports an accused drunk driver will face criminal charges after a fatal crash on I-95.

Police say the 20-year-old Georgia motorist was southbound on I-95 in South Philadelphia shortly before 3 a.m. on Sunday when he lost control of his 2007 Nissan Armada and struck a Volkswagen Jetta in the right lane. The 25-year-old Jetta driver’s vehicle came to rest after striking a concrete barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An experienced Philadelphia drunk driving accident lawyer knows alcohol is involved in about one-third of all traffic 122490959fatalities. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and we encourage you to make safe driving a topic of discussion with friends and family. Young drivers are at particularly high risk of drunk driving accidents over the next several months as graduation gives way to summer break.

Alcohol involved in close to one-third of fatal car accidents

According to data just released by the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,322 motorists were killed by drunk drivers in 2012 – accounting for 31 percent of deadly traffic collisions nationwide. It’s the first nationwide increase after several years of declines. Intoxicated motorists were involved in 460 of Pennsylvania’s 1,310 traffic fatalities that year. Nearly 1 in 5 underage drivers killed in traffic collisions are legally drunk. Thirty-two percent of drivers ages 21-to-24 who are killed in traffic accidents were legally intoxicated at the time, the highest percentage of any age group.

Too few parents recognize the risks, particularly when their children are years away from being old enough to drink. To help address the disconnect, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is sponsoring 21 days of activities in April, culminating with its PowerTalk 21 on April 21, a day set aside to encourage parents to open dialogue with their teens and young drivers. Each year, MADD estimates 4,700 people die as a result of underage drinking.

Parents continue to wield enormous influence in their teens’ lives. As USAToday reports, only 8 percent of teens whose parents thought it unacceptable for “someone your age” to drink identified themselves as active drinkers, compared to almost half of teens whose parents were more tolerant of teenage alcohol use.

Teen alcohol abuse often goes unnoticed, untreated

Medical News Today reports, Alcohol Awareness Month is supported by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, as well as the beverage industry. However, the picture is more sobering when it comes to underage alcohol use than that painted by the Beer Institute, which used the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Data to contend drinking has declined among 12- to 17-year-olds. Yet more than 9 million underage drinkers admitted to consuming alcohol in the past month, including 6 million who self-identified as binge drinkers and 1.7 million heavy drinkers.

And, while nearly 900,000 youth needed treatment for an alcohol problem last year, fewer than 100,000 were actually treated.

Meanwhile, as attitudes about marijuana grow more permissive, and instances of prescription drug abuse among teens continue to climb, alcohol is far from the only substance of concern when it comes to young motorists driving under the influence.

Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 today to schedule a consultation.

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