Surprising Commonality Found in Fatal Young Adult Car Wrecks


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According to The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for people age 1 to 44. Between the ages of 5 and 24, car wrecks take more lives than anything else. For this reason, it's important to nail down the data further, to determine why so many young Americans are dying needlessly. For a long time, it's been widely accepted that the vast number of collisions involve distracted driving- specifically cell phone use. However, researchers at The Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University recently discovered it's something else entirely different.

More than Half of All Fatal Collisions with Young Drivers Involve Drugs or Alcohol

Researchers were able to isolate data from drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 who were involved in fatal collisions, and who also died within one hour of the accident. Data was gathered from nine states. Car wrecks in Charleston, and all of South Carolina, were not included, because drivers aren't always tested for substances immediately following a collision. However, the states which do test and report their findings indicate that 50.3 % of young drivers who die are under the influence of alcohol or marijuana when they're involved in a fatal collision.

  • 8% have consumed alcohol.
  • 9% were under the influence of marijuana.
  • 6% tested positive for both alcohol and marijuana.

Coming of Age for Alcohol Does Not Deter Marijuana Use It has been hypothesized that lowering the legal drinking age might lessen illegal drug use among young adults and teens. This is simply based on the concept that people might opt for the substance most readily available. Had this been true, it could have spurred serious policy change, as well as a call to lower the legal drinking age. To support this notion, it was discovered that the likelihood a driver had consumed only alcohol prior to a collision went up 14% after age 21, and the chances of finding just pot went down 24%. However, the likelihood of finding both in the driver's toxicology report increased 22% after age 21. Parents Play a Key Role in Preventing Teens from Driving Drunk Habits formed in the teenage years reach into young adulthood and beyond and parents are major influences in how their children conduct themselves. There are many ways parents can help keep their kids, as well as others on the road, safe.

  1. Instill a zero-tolerance policy on impaired driving and follow up.
  2. Know your child's friends, as well as their parents, and know if your child is spending time with someone who may provide alcohol or drugs.
  3. Coach your child on how to refuse alcohol or drugs. They may have an easier time telling peers that they'll be grounded or lose car privileges, rather than simply saying, "No."
  4. Give your child an emergency "out." Create a passcode or secret text phrase that your child can use to alert you that he needs your help or a ride home, so that he can feel secure coming to you for help, while saving face among his friends.

Charleston Car Wreck Attorney

If you or your child has been hurt because of someone's reckless choice to drive under the influence, you may be entitled to compensation. Courts often award payments for medical bills and damages, as well as for pain and suffering. For a free consultation, please contact us using our online form, or speak to one of our attorneys now by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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