Teenagers driving while drunk present a risk of injury to the public

In April 2014, the El Paso Times published an article on a man who survived a 2008 automobile crash caused by a drunk driver who T-boned him on the left side of his vehicle. This drunken driving accident caused horrendous and terrible life-threatening personal injuries. Today, the man still lives with the consequences of the crash since he will be paralyzed for the remainder of his life. One silver lining is that the man’s two teenage boys “fully grasp” the dangers of driving drunk. Unfortunately, many teenagers in Texas fail to fully appreciate the dangers of drunk driving.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a survey of Texas teens shows that 73 percent claim that the fact that most of their friends drink motivates them to drink. Worse, 55 percent say that drinking to get drunk by their peers encourages them to do the same. New Mexico also has a problem with underage drinking. According to the Rio Observer Newspaper, more teens in New Mexico take their first drink before the age of 13 than any other state. Not surprisingly, New Mexico’s Governor is not thrilled with this top ranking and vows to combat underage drinking and driving.

The University of New York at Potsdam says that teens and other young people are over-represented in drunken driving accidents because, in part, they tend to:

  • Are more likely to use illegal drugs.
  • Be relatively inexperienced consumers of alcohol.
  • Be relatively inexperienced drivers.
  • Have a false sense of invincibility and immortality.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out two very interesting facts. First, teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers aged 20 and older per mile driven. According to the Institute, “immaturity leads to speeding and other risky habits, and inexperience means teen drivers often don’t recognize or know how to respond to hazards.” Second, although young drivers are somewhat less prone than adults to drink and drive, their crash risk is much higher when they do so. Apparently, this is the result of the fact that a teen’s drinking and driving is made worse by the “teenagers’ relative inexperience both with drinking and with driving.”

Types of serious auto injuries

Drunk drivers operate their vehicles with impaired judgment and reflexes. The types of personal injuries sustained in a crash caused by a drunk driver can be serious and sometimes permanent. In some instances, the injuries can be life-threatening. Among the more serious injuries resulting from automobile crashes are spinal injuries, neck injuries and brain injuries. Motor vehicle accidents account for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries each year, according to the Mayo Clinic. Similarly, rear-end auto accidents have a tendency to cause neck injuries resulting from the head suddenly moving backward and then forward. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes observes that half of all traumatic brain injuries result from motor vehicle accidents.

Suing for car accident injuries

Teen drunk drivers are inclined to be more reckless when they drive, as compared to older drunk drivers. Regardless of their age, a drunk driver poses a distinct risk of injury to other motorists and their passengers. If you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact an attorney who has experience in handling drunken driving accident cases. The attorney can advise you on how to seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered.