Teenage Drinking & Driving Facts

Updated April 17, 2017

Teenage drinking and driving is a serious issue that has led to over 1,900 deaths a year. Teenagers don't have much experience behind the wheel, and they are prone to drink to excess. This is often a deadly combination. Have a conversation with your teen about the dangers of drunk driving before they have the chance to get behind the wheel.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for individuals between 15 and 20 years old. Alcohol plays a role in many teenage car accidents. Because teenagers are new to the road and their bodies do not have experience metabolising alcohol, they pose a danger to themselves and others if they drive after drinking.

Annual Deaths

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, over 5,000 teens die each as a result of underage drinking. This figure includes the 1,900 teens that die annually in alcohol-related car crashes.

Teenage Statistics

The number of teenage deaths in drunk driving accidents is disproportionately high. Over 40 per cent of deadly alcohol related accidents involve teenagers. The cause for this high level of teenage crashes is unknown, but it likely has to do with a teenager's lack of driving experience and tendency to binge drink.

Drinking Age

The minimum age to drink in the U.S. is currently 21. It was raised from 18 in 1984 and has helped to limit the number of teens who have access to alcohol.

Talk To Your Teen

The statistics show it: teenage drunk driving is a deadly proposition. Be sure to have a conversation with your teenager about alcohol and the dangers of drinking and driving. If they are in a situation where alcohol is present, be sure they know to designate a driver or to call someone who can safely take them home.

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About the Author

James Mulcahy is a New York City-based licensed massage therapist with more than 1,500 hours of training in anatomy, myology and pathology. He currently works as a freelance writer and has contributed to Huffington Post, New York Press, British Airway’s High Life, Metromix and many other publications.