Alcohol/ Adolescent Drinking And Driving term paper 15121

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Adolescent Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is an illegal act of negligence; therefore, it is not a smart thing to do. Although driving while intoxicated is a problem of all age groups, it is especially severe for adolescents. This is not because they do not care, but that they often do not understand the serious effects of alcohol. It is a proven fact that driving under the influence of alcohol can affect people’s reflexes. Therefore, no one should drink and drive because it can cause accidents, debilitating injuries, and/or death.

According to statistics, adolescents are involved in one out of four injury accidents. Adolescents go through a “personal fable” stage. They are sorry when they hear of people dying, or getting hurt, while drinking and driving, but they feel nothing could happen to them. Adolescents often start the day out feeling bored, and this leads to a drinking “road trip.” This is where several teens with no particular destination in mind, hop into a car, and many times they end up at the local liquor store where they buy alcohol with fake ID’s. They drive to a secluded place outside of town and consume the alcohol as quickly as they can. However, this is not enough for them, and they start looking for other sources of obtaining liquor. Late into the evening, they are ready to head home, unfortunately, because they are immature, they did not think to get a designated driver. This results in a teen that is extremely intoxicated behind the wheel, and this could cause an accident that could badly injure the people involved.

Sometimes appendages are injured due to a fracture, or a more severe injury could result in amputation. Getting burned is also an injury that could occur in a car accident. Burns range in severity from first degree to third degree, with third degree burns causing the most damage. In addition, burns could cause loss of vision, or hearing. Another injury that could occur from an accident is paralysis, which is not being able to move part or parts of the body. Young people do not think about the consequence of being a paraplegic or a quadriplegic for the rest of their lives, and the idea of possible death or dying never enters their minds. At that age, all they can think of is the immediate gratification they are getting at the moment by having a “good time.” According to statistics, approximately 708,000 people are injured in alcohol-related crashes each year, and 74,000 suffer serious injuries. About 2,000 people are hurt each day in alcohol-related accidents. Two million collisions caused by drinking and driving occur each year. The injuries that can occur from a car accident range from mild injuries to severe injuries. For example, a head injury could result in a short-term memory loss, or it could result in a comatose condition that could last for weeks, or longer.

The leading cause of death for adolescents in America is from alcohol related crashes. According to statistics, adolescents comprise only twenty % of the total licensed population in our country. However, they cause approximately forty % of alcoholic crashes that result in fatalities. About sixty % of fatally injured adolescent drivers have alcohol in their blood streams. In addition, it is estimated that approximately twenty adolescents die in alcohol related crashes each day. Statistics also show that when alcohol is involved, the risk of causing an accident is six times greater for adolescents who are drinking than for non-drinking adolescent drivers. A common feeling among adolescents who drink is that, “It’s my body, and I will drink if I want to.” They do not think about the fact that they could cause the injury or death of others, nor they do they think about the grief and pain that friends and family members will have to endure because of this. The acceptance of their peer group over-shadows any feelings of remorse they may have.

On the other hand, some people could drink and drive if they know their limit on consuming the alcohol. Another reason being, in case of an emergency of life or death.

According to the recent study by Allstate Insurance, it is estimated that accidents caused by drivers who are intoxicated, cost American taxpayers about twenty-four billion dollars a year. In addition, the United States has one of the safest highway systems in the world, and fortunately have relatively few fatalities per one hundred million miles driven. However, the portion of accidents involving alcohol is among the highest in the world. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that alcohol use among young people is spreading. In fact, about half of junior high school students have tried alcoholic beverages. Parents and educators must do all they can to eliminate this “needless slaughter” on the highways. Parents, teachers, and students should work together to create better lines of communication concerning this issue. Children are precious; they are the future.

Word Count: 824


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