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Teen drivers risky due to alcohol and distractions

South Carolina teens and other teens across the country are responsible for a large number of crashes caused by distracted driving and alcohol-related accidents. This is true even though they only comprise about 10 percent of the population of drivers.

According to national statistics, drivers younger than 21 are responsible for about 17 percent of fatal car accidents that involve alcohol. States have responded to this issue by lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration level to 0.02 for teenage drivers. A few states have zero tolerance. However, these laws have done little to alter the statistics for this demographic. About one-third of teen automotive accidents involve alcohol. Consuming alcohol can impair teen drivers' judgment and make them more likely to take risks that they wouldn't take if they were sober.

However, the cause of death for teens in automotive accidents has shifted from alcohol consumption to texting while driving. This act is responsible for about 3,000 teen deaths each year. Like with impaired driving, states have passed several laws regarding texting while driving, including banning cellphone use while driving at all. However, these laws have yet to be shown to have a significant impact on this act. However, studies show that this is a major concern. A teen's reaction time significantly decreases when texting while driving. Additionally, this act makes it 23 times more likely for the driver to be involved in an automotive accident.

Individuals who are injured in a car accident my choose to discuss their case with a personal injury attorney. If it can be established that impaired or distracted driving was the cause of of the accident, it may be advisable to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party.

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Smith & Griffith, LLP
1102 North Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621

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