According to U.S. Census data there are 13 million driving-aged teenagers and, with 23 percent of teens admitting to driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, as many as 3 million impaired teen drivers may be taking to the roads during the upcoming months, according to a new survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD.
While the majority of teens (91 percent) consider themselves to be "safe/cautious" drivers, yet many don't consider alcohol, marijuana or other drugs a distraction or a deterrent to their driving ability.
Of teens who admit to drinking and driving, nearly 40 percent claim that alcohol has no impact on or even improves their driving. Perhaps even more concerning is that among teens who admit to driving under the influence of marijuana, the large majority (75 percent) feel the same way.
Do teens find driving under the influence distracting? According to the survey, about one in four teens who have driven under the influence of marijuana (25 percent) or prescription drugs (23 percent), and about one in seven teens who report drinking and driving (14 percent), say "not at all." This cavalier attitude toward driving under the influence is made more somber in light of recent data from the Governors Highway Safety Association which found an alarming 19 percent increase in the number of teen driver deaths (ages 16 and 17) in the first half of 2012.