Drunk driving accidents in West Palm Beach remain a major concern, with many young people attending Palm Beach State College and as a popular spring break destination. Young people remain the demographic group most likely to become involved in impaired driving accidents. When a teen or young adult gets behind the wheel impaired, both passengers who are hurt as well as any other injured motorists harmed by the teen's actions have a right to make a damage claim.
Young People Remain at Significant Risk for Impaired Driving
News OK recently reported on why so many young people continue to be at greater risk of an impaired driving accident. Research has shown one out of three drivers involved in a fatal accident with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher were between the ages of 21 and 24. The demographic group with the next highest rate of impaired driving in fatal accidents included people between the ages of 25 to 34, and the third highest group was people between the ages of 35 and 44.
Young people may choose to get behind the wheel when they are drunk because this demographic group tends to engage in high-risk behavior more than people who are older. As one young adult college student explained about his peer group, "many young adults have the 'it'll never happen to me'" mentality. While decades of public education on the issue of impaired driving have improved attitudes somewhat and made young people more aware of the fact DUI is dangerous, there are still a stubbornly high number of teens and young adults who get behind the wheel drunk. In fact, young people still make up 23 percent of all drivers who were in crashes and who had consumed alcohol before the accident happened.
Not only is drunk driving a problem for young people, but drugged driving is becoming a bigger issue as well. As more states have relaxed laws on marijuana and as legalization has become possible in some locations even for recreational use, young people are increasingly seeing the use of cannabis as acceptable. Unfortunately, many youths believe it is not as dangerous to drive when high on marijuana as it is to drive after having consumed alcohol. The rates of marijuana-related accidents are rising so even though overall drunk driving accidents have declined, trends are starting to go the other way when it comes to statistics on driver impairment.
Parents need to talk with their children about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving. Since the demographic group must likely to be impaired is age 21 to 24 and young people in this age group are usually no longer living at home, parents should stress the importance of sobriety even after kids have moved out. These young adults also need to take responsibility for their own dangerous choices and need to make sure they do not drink and drive in West Palm Beach, whether they live in the area or are visiting for vacation.