A new report published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about 1 in 10 teenagers admitted to drinking and driving within the past year.
It is the latest study to highlight the many risk factors associated with teen driving. Our Boston car accident attorneys are well aware that teenagers are at high risk for every conceivable poor driving habit, including drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, not wearing their seat belt and riding with too many passengers in the vehicle. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to report that car accidents are the leading cause of death for all teens, including those ages 15 to 20 and those not yet old enough to drive.
While ten percent of teens admit to drinking and driving within the last 12 months, more alarming still is the fact that half of those admit to having done it more than once in the last year. When you factor in the fact that teenagers often ride with friends, it becomes highly probable that your teenagers — yes YOUR teenager — is going to be faced with the decision of whether or not to ride in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
Massachusetts drunk driving accidents are a leading cause of fatal Boston car accidents. The NHTSA reports that alcohol was involved in 177 of the 417 fatal accident reported in Massachusetts in 2008 — accounting for a staggering 42 percent of all fatalities.
While great strides have been made in combating drunk driver over the past several decades — 87 percent of those polled said there is almost universal disapproval — much work remains to be done. Safety advocates continue to push for ignition interlock devices — which test a driver’s breath and prohibit a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected. The AAA Foundation reports that there is nearly universal support for requiring the devices for repeat DUI offenders. About 69 percent of those polled favor the devices for all motorists convicted of DUI, including first-time offenders.
“Drunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “Driving is both a privilege and a responsibility. Exploring new technologies, such as interlocking devices, are important to ensuring public safety in conjunction with personal responsibility and law enforcement.”
If you have been injured in a drunk driving car accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.