Atlanta, GA- Because of their lack of driving experience teens are prone to traffic accidents. In fact, according to the CDC, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death among teens. Inexperience plays a role in a large number of those accidents, but a new study indicates that alcohol and marijuana are contributing factors in at least half of all fatal traffic accidents.
The study was conducted by Katherine Keyes of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and examined fatal crash data involving motorists aged 16-25. Researchers primarily focused on fatal accidents in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington and West Virginia, according to Live Science.
After looking at the data, researchers found that drugs and alcohol were a factor in 50.3 percent fatal accidents in the states listed above. Of those accidents, 36.8 percent of the drivers tested positive for alcohol exclusively, while 5.9 percent of at-fault drivers tested positive for marijuana use and 7.9 tested positive for both, according to the Live Science. Researchers found that even with the increasing availability of marijuana (recreational pot is legal in two states) alcohol remains a larger contributor to fatal accidents for teens and young adults.
What’s more, researchers found that when motorists turned 21– the legal drinking age—the likelihood of finding alcohol alone increased by 14 percent, while the chances of finding pot alone decreased by 24 percent, according to Live Science. However, researchers found that the over-21 set were more likely to have both alcohol and marijuana in their systems than motorists under the legal drinking age.
Driving under the influence of any substance, regardless of whether it is […]