Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new information about teenage drinking and driving. The CDC found that the percentage of high school students who drink and drive has decreased by more than 50% in the last two decades. Yet, it is estimated that approximately one million teens drank alcohol and drove in 2011. Thus, the CDC believes that more can be done to prevent teen drinking and driving accidents.
According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, approximately 4.6% - 8.9% of Virginia high school students aged 16 or older reported drinking and driving. In order to reduce the number of Virginia drunk driving accidents, and drunk driving crashes in other states, the CDC is recommending that the following stakeholders take action to prevent future wrecks.
- First, the CDC is recommending that states and communities increase awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and strengthen existing policies and laws.
- Second, the CDC is recommending that pediatricians and other health professionals screen teens for risky behaviors, educate parents and teens about the dangers of drunk driving, and encourage parents to set limits with teen drivers.
- Third, the CDC is recommending that teens never drink and drive, refuse to ride with a driver who has been drinking, and follow all driving laws.
Finally, the CDC is recommending that parents recognize the danger, provide safe alternatives for their children, model good behavior, and set strict driving rules for their households.
The CDC provides further resources for preventing teen drinking and driving on its website.