Far fewer youth drive under influence of alcohol, according to a new survey from the United States.
Comparing data from 2002 and 2014, government researchers discovered a 59% drop in driving under the influence among 16- to 20-year-olds. For adults between 21 and 25, the decline was 38%.
The study authors offered three likely explanations:
- Overall drop in alcohol use among young people,
- Effective law enforcement steps like roadside testing,
- Prevention efforts at schools across the country.
Even with the declines, the numbers suggest there were still a lot of dangerous young motorists on the road last year. Nearly one in five people between the ages of 21 and 25 acknowledged driving under the influence. Among 16- to 20-year olds, they were far fewer, about one in 15.
The study relied on data from more than 380,000 respondents to the federal government’s annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Young people were asked during in-person interviews to report their use of alcohol and other drugs over the past 12 months.
As the study notes, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among young people. In 2013, more than 2000 people between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed on American roads or about six a day, according to the CDC.