Fewer teens drive drunk when parents set restrictions

For many parents, the day their teenager gets his or her driver's license is nerve-wracking. Allowing teenagers on the road by themselves for the first time can lead most parents to worry about their child's safety and to question whether they are prepared for the road ahead.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, rather than assuming your child has learned everything necessary in driver's education classes, parents should become involved when their teens get behind the wheel. The GHSA notes that in addition to restrictions imposed by graduated driver's licensing programs in the states, parents should set rules with their teens as well.

When parents set limitations on their teen's driving, researchers have noted significant positive benefits. For instance, teens whose parents set restrictions on their driving habits were 50 percent less likely to cause a motor vehicle accident. In addition, those teenage drivers were 71 percent less likely to get behind the wheel when they were drunk.

Drunk driving is a significant concern for teenagers across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young drivers are more likely to be involved in a drunk driving collision than their older counterparts.

Parents who enforce the restrictions implemented by their state's graduated driver's licensing programs can help to ensure the safety of both their children and other motorists on the road. The Governors Highway Safety Association particularly recommends that parents ensure their teens follow the restrictions regarding driving at night and the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle with the teen motorist.

In Alabama, teen drivers with a graduated driver's license are restricted from driving between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. and are not allowed to have more than one other passenger in the vehicle at the same time.

Avoid drunk driving accidents in Alabama

Despite these restrictions on teen motorists in Alabama, drunk driving accidents continue to account for a significant portion of the traffic fatalities in the state. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there were 259 deaths caused by drunk drivers in Alabama in 2011. In total, those fatalities accounted for 32 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state that year.

Those statewide statistics are representative of the nation as a whole. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that drunk driving accidents accounted for 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In total, over 10,225 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents that year.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to damages to cover the harm caused. In such cases, you would be wise to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected.