A new study reveals that in US states with the toughest drinking and driving laws, fewer teens and children are killed in auto accidents. The research found that 50% of the car accidents that kill teens and children in the US are caused by alcohol.
Of almost 85,000 children and teens killed in car accidents from 2000 to 2013, 28% involved drivers who were drunk. About 50% of the children died in crashes where the driver was drunk.
But states that have the toughest drunk driving laws saw a 9% drop in child and teenager drunk driving crash deaths.
The senior study author, Dr. Tim Naimi, noted that reducing alcohol related crashes among young people requires state governments to strengthen drunk driving laws and awareness among both adults and youth.
According to one alcohol abuse expert, this study shows that effective public policy can have a positive effect on behavior and health.
Naimi stated that the study looked at 29 alcohol policies in 50 states and looked at more than simply drunk driving laws. Most of the policies that were studied were designed to reduce drinking generally, rather than simply reduce driving among those who already were intoxicated. Most of the policies studied were also geared towards the general adult population, rather than just youth.
Nami thinks that raising the price of alcohol and limiting sales are important to prevent people from getting intoxicated.
The study also found that laws that limit how much young drivers can drive at night and restricting the number of passengers they can have in the vehicle can lower the number of accident deaths.
Teen alcohol abuse kills 4700 people each year in motor vehicle crashes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. We are pleased to hear that many states are having success in reducing the number of these devastating car accidents.
Our personal injury attorneys specializing in drunk driving crashes have seen far too many families devastated by the death of a loved one due to drunk driving. We strongly support efforts by states to crack down on drunk driving in any way possible. It is interesting to hear that public policy efforts to reduce drinking generally can lead to fewer drunk driving deaths among teens.
Drunk driving leads to not just death and destruction for individuals and families. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits cause financial mayhem for the convicted drunk driver. A wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver by the surviving family can provide needed compensation for the family to survive financially in the aftermath of tragedy. And for the drunk driver, a wrongful death lawsuit is another punishment for very reckless and dangerous behavior.