Impaired driving occurs most frequently in young drivers due to naivety and lack of driving experience. Because of this, young people have the highest rates of death and injury per capita than any other age group. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of young people aged 16 to 25 and the use of drugs and alcohol contributes to 55% of those crashes. Our blog post today explores the dangers of impaired driving and teens so that you can protect yourself or your teenager when they get on the road.
Although teenage drinking and driving is on the decline, many teenagers still choose to drive after they have been drinking. Studies have shown that teenagers who drink and drive are more likely to be in automobile collisions at night and in the summertime. Males are more likely to get behind the wheel drunk, accounting for 87% of drunk drivers who are killed. We now know that when a drivers’ blood alcohol concentration reaches .10%, they are 51 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than a non-drinking driver (via MADD). Please read our blog on How to Avoid Drinking & Driving for some easy strategies you can use to prevent yourself or someone you know from drunk driving.
After alcohol, marijuana is the drug that young adults in Canada between the ages of 15 and 25 years old use the most. Although many young people see driving after using marijuana as being less dangerous and more risk free than driving after drinking alcohol, it can actually be just as dangerous. Marijuana can shorten your attention span and alter your perception of time and distance, both of which means slower reaction time when you’re behind the wheel. What many teens don’t realize is that driving while under the influence of drugs carries the same penalties as drinking and driving.
Unfortunately, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous impaired driving habits that has recently emerged. Although this type of distracted driving isn’t limited to teenagers, it accounts for nearly 80% of collisions in Canada. In Ontario alone, distracted driving killed more people than drug or alcohol impaired driving or speed-related collisions. With the new penalties for texting and driving in Ontario, it’s so important to avoid engaging in this dangerous behavior. At DriveWise, we know that the best way to avoid impaired driving is to avoid even glancing at your phone while driving. Can’t trust yourself? Put your phone in the back seat out of reach or use an anti-texting and driving app to help you out.
As a driving school who predominantly teaches beginner drivers the rules of the road, we work with a lot of teenagers at our DriveWise locations in London, Ontario. Because we work closely with so many teens, we recognize the importance of educating our students about the unique dangers of impaired driving. If you have any questions about impaired driving and teenagers, please contact us today. We’ll be able to answer any of your questions relating to impaired driving and how best to protect yourself and others when you get behind the wheel.