The percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991,* but more can be done. Nearly one million high school teens drank alcohol and got behind the wheel in 2011. Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens.
Research has shown that factors that help to keep teens safe include parental involvement, minimum legal drinking age and zero tolerance laws, and graduated driver licensing systems. These proven steps can protect the lives of more young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them.
*High school students aged 16 years and older who, when surveyed, said they had driven a vehicle one or more times during the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol.
Fewer teens are drinking and driving, but this risky behavior is still a major threat.
*Blood alcohol concentration. It is illegal for adults to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. It is illegal for anyone under age 21 to drive after drinking any alcohol in all US states.
The percentage of teens in high school, aged 16 years or older, who drink and drive has decreased by more than half.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, United States, 1991-2011
Get your copy of CDC's parent-teen driving agreement and learn more about safe teen driving at www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey.