Teenagers Binge Drinking Lead to Highway Crashes
ABC News Nightline uncovered a disturbing trend among teenage girls – binge drinking. Monday night the network reported that one in every four teen girls binge drinks. Faced with enormous pressure to fit in, Ju Ju Chang reports teenage girls are turning more and more to alcohol.
Unlike social adult drinkers who may drink a glass or two of wine to “unwind,” teenage drinkers drink to get drunk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in a study released earlier this year that 90% of the alcohol consumed by teens is consumed while binge drinking. That means that teens are drinking four to five alcoholic drinks per occasion, two or three times per month.
While any amount of drinking by teens can be dangerous, binge drinking comes with additional dangers. Beyond the immediate effects of alcohol that can cause sickness, and more seriously, alcohol poisoning, large amounts of alcohol makes girls more promiscuous and more vulnerable. In fact, 80% of teenage pregnancies occur to girls that are drunk.
Teenage drinking also has an “intellectual price” according to a report by Bob Hirshon of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Girls’ brains are permanently damaged when they binge drink as teens, impacting their memory, spatial awareness and decision-making skills.
According to Shelly Campbell, RN, trauma nurse at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, three-fourths of the injuries she treats as a trauma nurse are alcohol related. She sees injuries as minor as a sprained ankle from tripping on a curb to stabbings and gunshot wounds triggered when drinking gets out of hand, resulting in violent reactions. Emergency rooms have also had their share of teenaged accident victims.
Unfortunately, many of these teen binge drinkers end up behind the wheel causing death or injury to themselves or others. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 31% of driver fatalities in the 16-20 age group were drivers who had been drinking alcohol. This increased from 27% in 2009. Alcohol-related crashes, according to PA DOT, were 4.5 times more likely to result in death than those not related to alcohol.
Our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys ask that teens not drink alcohol – it’s not healthy, it’s not safe and it’s against the law. We also ask others to find a designated driver if you will be out drinking. Please do not drink and drive.
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If you have been a victim of a Pennsylvania car accident caused by a teen drunk driver, talk to a knowledgeable drunk driving lawyer to understand your legal rights.
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