One thing we know in psychology is that we learn by watching others. Kids learn by watching their parents, often more than listening to them.
So, parental behavior has a big impact on whether kids drink and drive. Parents can help their kids make better decisions – simply by making better ones themselves.
A new study by the CDC shows teenage drinking and driving has declined significantly in the past 20 years, by more than half. A NY Times article discusses the findings:
The percentage of American high school students who drink and drive has dropped by more than half in two decades, in part because of tougher laws against driving under the influence of alcohol, federal health officials said on Tuesday.
In 2011, 10.3 percent of high school students 16 and older reported drinking and driving in the previous 30 days, compared with 22.3 percent in 1991, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency credited the nearly 54 percent decline to stricter laws against drunken driving and restrictions on teenagers’ driving privileges, like limits on the hours they may legally drive at night.
“We’ve seen really good progress,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the centers, told reporters. “We’re moving in the right direction, but we need to keep up the momentum.”
Despite the decrease, nearly a million high school students consumed alcohol before driving last year, the report showed.
Drinking and driving among teenagers is a factor in more than 800 deaths annually, and car crashes remain the leading cause of death among people aged 16 to 19, the centers said.
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