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Dangers of teens who drink or text while driving

Teen drivers cause a disproportionate number of fatal crashes every year in Oklahoma and across the United States. Many of these crashes are tied to drinking or texting while driving.

Drivers under the age of 21 are responsible for about 17 percent of those alcohol-related accidents that cause at least one fatality. This is despite measures taken by state legislatures to discourage drinking and driving among those under the age of 21. Most states have a low or no tolerance policy for drinking and driving and will charge underage drinkers with a DWI if they have a blood alcohol level of 0.2 percent, with at least two states having zero-tolerance laws. Still, about 2,000 intoxicated young drivers die every year in alcohol-related crashes.

Texting and driving is another dangerous behavior associated with teen drivers. This behavior kills even more teens every year than drinking and driving. Many states have now outlawed texting and driving, and some have even banned any use of a cellphone while a person is driving. Research has shown that texting while driving makes a person 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a person who is not similarly distracted. Studies show that every time a person texts while driving, their eyes are off the road for at least five seconds. If driving at 55 miles per hour, they would travel the length of a football field during that time.

regardless of their age, impaired or distracted drivers are the cause of accidents that can result in serious injuries to their passengers or occupants of other vehicles. Victims often incur severe financial hardship in addition to medical issues, and many choose to obtain the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation for their losses from the negligent driver.