Alcohol-related fatality rates are nearly twice as high for 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds as for those over age 21 in December.
Young drivers are less likely than adults are to drive after drinking alcohol, but when they do, their crash risks are substantially higher, according to Rick Birt, president and CEO of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
Birt went on to explain that this risk is especially true at low and moderate blood alcohol concentrations and is thought to result from teens’ relative inexperience as new drivers.
Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.
- Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs impair the ability to drive because they slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.
- Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.
- Using two or more drugs at the same time, including alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug a person has consumed.
- Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.
Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment – which is why no one should drive after using any impairing substances.
- Slow reaction time
- Alteration of depth perception
- Hyperactivity from a high
- Reduction of peripheral vision
- Lack of awareness of surroundings
- Impaired driving puts teens at higher risks of injury or death
For more information, log on to www.sadd.org/.