In the past 20 years drunk driving among US teens has dropped 54%, due to tougher laws and higher gas prices which kept teenagers off the roads.
Last year 10% of high school students were reporting drinking and driving, from 22% in 1991. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that young people between 16-20 years old are 17 time more likely to die in a car accident when their blood alcohol is .08%, which is the legal limit in many states.
“Teens are especially sensitive to increases in gasoline prices and declines in economic conditions, which might have decreased their miles driven since 2007,” says the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study also shows that male students are most likely to drink and drive that females, especially boys above 18 years old. The students reporting driving after drinking were 11% white, 12% Hispanic and only 7% African American. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveys analyzed between 10,900 to 16,400 teens annually from 1991 to 2011. Although the report seems like good news, it also means that 1 in 10 teenagers still drinks and drive, which is about 950,000 teens.