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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Texas Teens Admit Drinking and Driving
According to a new Allstate Insurance Company study of Texas teen driving habits, fifty-two percent of Lone Star teens admit to driving a car after drinking alcohol or have been a passenger in a car operated by a teen driver who had been drinking.
Allstate agents asked teens in and around eleven Texas cities, including Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, about their highway habits. Researchers found:
• 88% report text messaging or talking on their cell phones while driving.
• 48% reveal police stopped them during their first year of driving.
• 33% admitted to getting in a collision during their first year of driving.
• 30% report driving so fast they've lost control of their car, or have been a passenger in a car with a teen driver who lost control.
"These numbers are disturbing and show there is a critical need for parents and teens to talk about safe driving," said David Christopher, an agent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. "Car crashes are the number one killer of teens and summer is the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers. The time to act is now."
One Hundred Deadliest Days
For teen drivers, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days." Allstate says that on average, 15 teens die in traffic crashes every day during the summer months.
Five Tips For Safe Teen Driving:
1. Don't Drink and Drive
In 2006, 25 percent of 15- to 20-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes had a Blood Alcohol Content level of .08 g/dl or higher.
2. Establish Rules of the Road
Put written expectations for safe driving behaviors in writing with a parent-teen driving contract.
3. Focus on the Road, Forget Your Social Life
Driver error is responsible for a shocking 87% of all teen driving accidents. Texting, eating, and playing with the radio are all avoidable driving distractions.
4. Buckle Up and Slow Down
In Texas, speeding is the number one cause of fatal crashes involving teen drivers, followed by failure to wear safety belts.
5. Learn the Law
Texas graduated driver licensing laws restrict nighttime driving and implement passenger limitations for teen drivers.