Teenagers comprise a significant amount of the more than 3 million licensed drivers in Louisiana. Teenagers are at high risk for impaired driving, even if they are generally safe behind the wheel.
Driving while impaired can cause devastating accidents, serious injuries or death. Teenagers and their parents should know some of the most common causes of impaired driving among teenagers.
Mental health issues
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses seen among teens. Eating disorders and personality disorders are high as well. It’s not uncommon for teenagers with these issues to self-medicate and drive. They often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with these problems. If a teenager causes a deadly accident while impaired, an underlying mental health disorder can play a role in their criminal defense strategy.
Teenagers often face pressure to engage in certain behaviors. Their friends might urge them to drink or do drugs. When peer pressure is heavy, no one stops to think about the dangers of impaired driving. Teenagers who are generally safe drivers can give in to peer pressure, drink or do drugs and then get behind the wheel.
Teenagers are often impulsive. They’re more likely to take unnecessary risks and engage in dangerous behavior for fun. And when drugs and alcohol are added, inhibitions drop even lower. Also, teenagers aren’t able to process alcohol the same as adults. They get drunk faster and stay drunk longer than adults.
Alcohol is easier than ever to obtain. Teenagers can get into their parents’ alcohol in the home. Older siblings and friends can also provide alcohol or maybe even drugs. It’s also common to see drugs and alcohol readily available at parties.
Prevent impaired driving
It’s impossible to control teenagers’ actions when their parents aren’t around. Peer pressure is often high, and teenagers might not make the best choices. However, speaking with teenagers about the dangers of impaired driving might make them more likely to avoid the behavior.