BUFFALO, N.Y. – Drivers under the age of 25 are most at risk of getting into a car crash but they’re getting wiser about driving, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say self-reported drunk drivers between 16 and 20 years old have dropped 59 percent since 2002 – and drunk drivers between the ages of 21 and 25 have dropped 38 percent.
This is good news, says a Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes.
“The number of drunk drivers has been dropping since the early 2000s and it’s encouraging to see that teens and young adults are acting responsibly in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “If they’re having drinks, many young adults have a designated driver or they call cab services – which are much more accessible today.”
Since the 1990’s, safety advocates have launched campaigns in local schools and youth centers, warning teens of the dangers associated with drunk driving but according to safety experts, technology is helping too. Simply tapping your cell phone can hail a cab – and sometimes pay for it. Cell phones can also call a trustworthy friend or family member after a night of drinking.
However, car accidents are still the number one killer of young adults and teens – and Buffalo car accident attorneys say technology certainly plays a dangerous role behind the wheel.
“We’ve seen progress but drunk driving is still a problem and what’s worse is that distracted driving is on the rise despite strong campaigns urging young people to put the phone down while driving,” Barnes said. “So, while one message is slowly getting through to teens and young adults, the other one isn’t.”
It is now estimated that four out of every five drivers have been distracted behind the wheel – often by smartphones.
Safety advocates say it is important to continue educating children about the dangers of drunk driving but it is equally important to emphasize the risks associated with distracted driving.
The CDC estimates more than 2,000 teenagers are killed in car accidents each year – which equals about six deaths every day.