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Cars, Alcohol & Women Are Deadly
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
Impaired Driving: Get the Facts
Driving Deaths Peak in Summer, Parents Can Help Deter Poor Decisionmaking
A Review of the Literature on the Effects of Low Doses of Alcohol on Driving-Related Skills
Be safe on the move
They came, they drove, they learned
Drunk Driving Statistics & Facts
Tips for Families, Parents, and Youth Workers
Key College Alcohol Study Publications
According to the NHTSA
According to the CDC
Driving Deaths Peak in Summer, Parents Can
Help Deter Poor Decisionmaking
According to Liberty Mutual and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) research, teens spend 44 percent more hours driving each week in the summer than during the school year. But the research gives parents a solution to keep their teens safe as young drivers exercise their summer freedoms behind the wheel: setting and enforcing consequences for breaking driving laws and family rules curbs speeding, piling in and cell phone use, and increases seat belt usage and adherence to traffic signals.
"It is refreshing to validate the influence parents have on their teen drivers and the fact that the tried and true measures we use to establish appropriate behavior in our children during their younger years following through on consequences when expectations are not met have the same powerful effect on teenagers," said SADD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Wallace.
In a national study of more than 900 high school students with a driver's license, teens who believe their parents would follow through on threatened consequences for breaking a driving law are significantly less likely to say they speed (43 percent report driving 5 mph or more over the limit) than are the teens who say their parents are unlikely to follow through on any penalty (68 percent). Further, only 31 percent of teens who say their parents will enforce a consequence report they drive with more than three passengers in the car, compared to 60 percent of teens who consider their parents are "all talk and no action."
"These findings cannot be overstated. We all know that speeding contributes to crashes, and studies show the crash rate among teens drivers doubles or quadruples with two or three passengers, respectively, when compared to driving alone," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual vice president, Consumer Marketing, citing research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Parents can significantly reduce the likelihood of those behaviors by clearly establishing expectations of their teens and then following through on consequences should those expectations be breached."
Cell Phone Use and Text Messaging
As many states enact or consider legislation to curb cell phone use and text messaging while driving, the SADD/Liberty Mutual research further reveals how parents can influence the effects of these laws. More than half (52 percent) of teens who say their parents are unlikely to follow through on a consequence if they break a driving law report they talk on a cell phone while driving, compared to only 36 percent of teens who believe their parents would indeed penalize them.
And even in the absence of a cell phone law, the research confirms that parents can influence this behavior by establishing their own family rule about talking on the cell phone and driving and enforcing it. Teens who say their parents are likely to enforce a punishment for breaking a family driving rule about cell phones are significantly less likely to talk on the cell phone while driving (37 percent) than are teens who say their parents are unlikely to follow through on any consequence (65 percent).
Applies to Safe Behaviors, Too
The SADD/Liberty Mutual driving research points out not only how parents can deter destructive driving behaviors by setting and following through on consequences, but also how parental enforcement bolsters safe driving habits. Teens whose parents enforce penalties for driving law infractions are more likely to wear their seat belts (89 percent vs. 74 percent), require their passengers to buckle up (82 percent vs. 64 percent), obey stop signs (91 percent vs. 60 percent), and use turn signals (89 percent vs. 76 percent).
Summer Driving Realities
Earlier SADD/Liberty Mutual research (2003) that reveals teens drive 44 percent more hours each week during the summer (23.6 hours) than during the school year (16.4 hours) also spotlights teens' admission to an increase in risky driving behaviors that contribute to crashes.
What Parents Can Do
Liberty Mutual and SADD use seven years of collective driving research to offer these tips to help parents talk to their teens:
Know your state's Graduated Driver License laws and restrictions, including unsupervised driving, time of day, and passengers in the car, and enforce them. The Governors Highway Safety Association provides a description of each state's laws at www.statehighwaysafety.org
Set family rules about driving, outline clear consequences for breaking the rules, and follow through. Liberty Mutual and SADD suggest some rules if they are not covered by your state laws:
Continue supervised driving once your child has received his or her license, and reinforce the rules and safe driving habits.
Don't relent. Parents should continue the dialogue with their teens and frequently reinforce the acute dangers of distracted driving, drinking and driving, or using drugs and driving.
Order a free copy of "The Road Ahead: Stay Safe at the Wheel" by calling 800.4.LIBERTY or any local Liberty Mutual office. "The Road Ahead" kit includes a powerful video of teens discussing their driving attitudes and behaviors before and after viewing the HBO Family documentary Smashed: Toxic Tales of Teens and Alcohol, a family discussion guide and a family safe-driving pledge.
Download a copy of Liberty Mutual and SADD's Guidelines for Good Family Communication from the auto safety section of www.libertymutualinsurance.com
Download a copy of SADD's Opening Lifesaving Lines at www.sadd.org
Liberty Mutual and SADD commissioned Guideline to conduct a quantitative survey with high school students on a wide range of attitudes and behaviors relevant to teens. An entire section of the survey was dedicated to teen driving. The driving report focuses exclusively on the responses of 903 teens with a driver's license from a national sample of 26 high schools in April and May, 2006.
The relevant, driving-specific findings can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval with a +/- 3.3% error margin. Analysis of survey subgroups are subject to wider error margins. Percentages in the report may add to more or less than 100 percent due to rounding error or occasions when multiple response answers were accepted.
They came, they drove, they learned
Thanks to Yokohama Tire Corp., Discount Tires and the Jim Russell Racing School, 30 San Diego high school students now understand that cell phone use, iPods, eating and other driving distractions can be deadly. The students were part of a teen safe-driving event Apr. 11 at Qualcomm Stadium, where they drove fast BMWs, swerved out of control and occasionally burned rubber as they learned accident avoidance, maximum braking and car control from professional drivers.
"Our teen safety program helps young motorists develop safe driving strategies," said Fred Koplin, director of marketing for Yokohama. "The statistics on teen driving accidents and fatalities are staggering. That's why we've partnered with Discount Tire and the Jim Russell Racing School to organize ride and drive events across the country, beginning with San Diego."
Avoiding accidents was the major theme of the teen safe driving program, which began with a frank talk by San Diego police officer Phillip Stanley. "Distractions add distance to stopping a car," he said. "It cuts into your reaction time and every second counts. If you are going 75 miles per hour, that's 110 feet per second. At that speed it will take you 400 feet to stop. If you look down at your cell phone for just one second, you won't have enough time to stop safely."
Before the teens put some of Stanley's braking equations into theory, they received a quick chat by Mark Wolocatiuk, chief driving instructor at the Jim Russell Racing School. "Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention," he said. He also mentioned a distraction that's of national concern: road rage. "Keep a cool attitude when driving. When you get behind the wheel, always stay calm."
Wolocatiuk told the teens that pro drivers and racers also have troubles on the road. "Some racers can't switch modes from the race track to the street," he said. "After a race, we won't let them drive."
Three courses were set up in the Qualcomm parking lot to teach the teenagers safe driving techniques as they learned first-hand about ABS brakes, steering, stopping and other safety issues.
Part of the program, according to Jeff Wegner, Discount Tire regional assistant vice president, is a free brochure on better driving habits for teens - A Teen's Guide to Safe Driving - which is available at select Discount Tire stores. "These programs make a difference," said Wegner, whose 16-year-old daughter Leslie took part in the half-day program. "The kids get to push fast cars around the parking lot and learn important safe driving tips. The program Yokohama has put together is fun and educational; they've done a great job and we at Discount Tire value our long relationship with them. We encourage parents to stop by one of our stores for the brochure, which has loads of good information to help teenagers become better, more aware drivers."
"I got experience on how to avoid an accident," said 17-year-old Julie-Anne Broeu, a senior at Madison High School. "I'm a chicken and wouldn't have known what to do. What I learned today will help in a lot of situations. I never knew about ABS brakes, the importance of tire pressure and things like that. I knew road rage was bad, but didn't really understand how it affects driving. And now I'm going to think twice when I'm on the cell while driving."
The Russell driving instructors supplied the teen drivers with plenty of valuable safe driving tips. Among them:
Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety
guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and
the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.
Details can be found at the "Taking Care of Your Tires" section at
Be safe on the move.
Drivers and passengers can cut their risk of dying in a crash by half simply by buckling up. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. For children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to safety belts alone.
Cars, Alcohol &
Women Are Deadly Mix
University of California researchers say young men traditionally are known as the highest risk group for alcohol-related fatal car crashes, but over the last 10 years there has been an alarming increase in such deadly accidents among young female drivers.
Overall, the study showed young women between the ages of 16 and 24 had 13% fewer alcohol-related traffic fatalities from 1995 to 2004 than young men. But the rate of such accidents among young women increased at nearly the same rate as men, 1.3% and 1.4%, respectively.
In addition, the study showed young women were more reluctant than men to adopt safe driving habits, like buckling their seatbelts.
Young females should not be overlooked or underestimated in risky driving habits and involvement in alcohol-related crashes, says researcher Virginia W. Tsai, MD, of the department of emergency medicine at the University of California, in a news release. They are both at considerable risk for serious and fatal crashes especially if there is alcohol involved.
Risky Driving Doesnt Discriminate
In the study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in Chicago, researchers compared information on alcohol-related fatal crashes among young men and women aged 16-24 in the U.S. from 1995 to 2004.
Young men accounted for 13% more of the nearly 140,000 fatal crashes reported during the study period.
But when researchers looked at change over time, they found young womens rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities was increasing at a rate comparable to men. This increase was especially apparent among young women of legal drinking age (21-24).
A similarly disturbing trend was found in regard to seatbelt use. Young men involved in fatal alcohol-related car crashes were 18% less likely to use seatbelts than women overall, but were more likely to start using seatbelts during the study (9.2% vs. 7.5%).
Drivers who had alcohol in their system at the time of their crash were also 31% less likely to be wearing a seatbelt than those who had no alcohol in their blood.
Researchers say the results suggest that traffic safety messages traditionally targeted at young males should be revamped to target both young men and women.
Sources: 2007 Society for Academic Emergency
Medicine, Chicago, May 16, 2007. News release, Society for Academic
Emergency Medicine.. women.webmd.com/news/20070516/cars-alcohol-women-are-deadly-mix?ecd=wnl_erd_051907
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