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Can Florida Parents Prevent Teen Drunk Driving Crashes?


If you have a teen driver in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in South Florida, it is always important to think about teen driving safety and car accident prevention. While many parents set certain rules for teen drivers, such as banning other teen passengers and limiting driving time after dark, a new study from Yale University suggests that parents may play a bigger role than they think in preventing teen drunk driving collisions. And the effects parents have on their teen drivers might actually last into adulthood, lowering an overall rate of alcohol-impaired collisions.

Parent Involvement in Teen Lives Can Prevent DUIs 

According to the recent Yale study, “what teens believe their parents know about their leisure activities and who their friends are—and whether the parents approve or disapprove of alcohol use—can have life-saving effects.” In short, when teens have a trusting relationship with their parents that involves mutual respect, those teens are less likely to drink and drive. And those effects often last into adulthood, resulting in fewer (or no) DUI/DWI accidents.

In the study, researchers followed a total of 2,785 teens. They determined that teens’ awareness about their parents’ feelings toward their behavior could have effects for four years, throughout the student’s college years. The researchers also found that, when a teen knows his or her parents disapprove of alcohol consumption and that teen has a mutually respectful relationship with his or her parents, “it decreased the odds of their driving while impaired by 30 percent four years later.” Even just a year later, a parent’s disapproval of alcohol consumption or drinking after driving reduced a teen’s likelihood of “riding with an impaired driver by 20 percent” and that teen’s likelihood of experiencing an alcohol-induced blackout by 20 percent. 

Getting the Facts About Drunk Driving Collisions in Florida 

Florida has a particularly high rate of DUI accidents and deaths. Indeed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are drunk driving statistics in Florida:

  • Between 2003-2012, nearly 8,500 people were killed in drunk driving collisions;
  • In 2012, Florida had on average a higher rate of DUI deaths than the national average, with a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 (compared with the national average of 3.3 per 100,000);
  • Florida drivers between the ages of 21-34 have a significantly higher rate of DUI fatalities than the national average for this age group, with a rate of 8.0 per 100,000 (compared with the national average of 6.7 per 100,000); and
  • On average, 2.1 percent of Florida residents admit to driving after having too much to drink (compared with a 1.9 percent national average).

Contact a West Palm Beach DUI Car Accident Lawyer 

Drunk driving crashes can be devastating. Given that Florida has a significantly higher rate of alcohol-impaired collisions than the national average, it is important to hold drunk drivers accountable. If you or someone you love got hurt in a motor vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver, you should speak with a West Palm Beach car accident attorney as soon as possible to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC for more information.





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