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Virginia Parents: Talk to Your Teens About Drunk Driving

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Feb. 15, 2023

Parents should take the time to discuss the dangers of drunk driving with their teenagers.

As any parent knows, there are countless concerns when your teenager and their friends get their driver’s licenses. When teens start to drive, it is a good idea for parents to have frank conversations with them about the dangers of impaired driving, particularly in light of a recent study.

Researchers from Students Against Destructive Decisions collaborated with Liberty Mutual Insurance to reveal the habits of teenagers when it comes to drinking and driving. The results were surprising.

According to the study, most teenagers are aware that drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous. Nevertheless, this knowledge does not always cause them to make the safest choices, resulting in an increased risk of dangerous motor vehicle accidents.

The survey revealed that teenagers might have a convoluted view regarding what constitutes impaired driving. Of the teens surveyed who reported that they never drove under the influence of alcohol, one in 10 then reported that they occasionally drove after consuming one alcoholic drink.

In addition, 68 percent of those who confessed to drinking and driving also admitted to sometimes getting behind the wheel after consuming in excess of three alcoholic drinks.

Teenagers also have a distorted view of who can safely act as a designated driver, according to the study. Many reportedly believe that a designated driver merely needs to be “basically” sober, while their parents tend to consider designated drivers as those who have refrained from consuming alcohol altogether.

Consequently, parents should take the time to speak to their children about the dangers of impaired driving. Reinforcing the idea that a designated driver should be completely sober could be lifesaving.

Drunk Driving Accidents Common in Virginia

Across the state, drunk driving accidents are a serious concern. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 211 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Virginia in 2012 – accounting for 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year.

In total, 8,777 drunk driving collisions took place in Virginia in 2012. As a result of those crashes, 5,861 people suffered personal injuries.

Across the country, approximately 30 people are killed in drunk driving accidents every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 10,000 people were killed in such collisions in the United States in 2010.

When someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, the costs associated with the ensuing medical needs can be significant. In such cases, individuals who have been harmed should seek the counsel of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who will ensure the injured party’s interests are safeguarded.