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Teens Less Likely To Know When They Are Under The Influence

Many states have a zero tolerance rule for teen drivers. Given the elevated rates of car accidents and fatal crashes suffered by teen drivers, a teen who has been impaired by alcohol is a particularly dangerous driver. A recent survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions has found that teens are more likely to mistake when they are under the influence of alcohol. This may lead to deadly decisions about whether they are able to operate a motor vehicle.

When surveyed, teen drivers acknowledged that they should not drink and drive. Ten percent of those surveyed responded that they would never drive under the influence, but admitted that they had driven after having an alcoholic beverage. Among those who acknowledge having driving under the influence reported that they only rarely drove after consuming more than three alcoholic drinks.

A problem that exists across age groups is particularly prevalent among teens. Designated drivers are often considered the person who is most sober, or claims to be so, among a group. Teens are even more likely than adults to believe that a designated driver only needs to be 'basically' sober. Parents understood the proper definition of a designated driver - one who has had no alcohol whatsoever.

In addition to a lack of experience, teen drivers are often prone to accidents because they have a tendency to feel overconfident, or even invincible. This extends to teens who drink alcohol. Teens are unlikely to recognize the level of impairment caused by drinking. The consequences of that lack of understanding can be deadly.

Source: Forbes, "Drunk Driving: Teens Talk The Talk, Don't Always Walk The Walk," by Jim Henry, 21 March 2014

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