Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. SD 3.4 Exposure to drunk driving

04/01/1997

Motor vehicle crashes are a major cause of death in the U.S. for teenagers (13-19 year olds). Among young Americans of driving age, the issue of alcohol-impaired driving has particular significance. In all states, the purchase of alcohol by persons under age 21 is illegal; however, in 1994, 29 percent of the 2,610 traffic fatalities involving persons 15-17 years old were alcohol-related. For traffic deaths involving persons 18-20 years old, the percentage of alcohol involvement was 44 percent.26

In 1995, 42 percent of teens in grades 9-12 reported that within the last month prior to the survey, they had either driven after drinking alcohol or had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol the same percentage as in 1991, and slightly higher than the 38 percent who reported doing so in 1993 (see Table SD 3.4).

Differences by Age. Rates of exposure to drunk driving differed little by age. In 1995, 46 percent of 12th grade students reported taking this risk, compared with 39 percent of 9th grade students (see Figure SD 3.4).

Differences by Gender. In 1995, 43 percent of males and 40 percent of females reported driving after drinking alcohol or riding with someone who had been drinking.

Differences by Race and Ethnicity. In 1995, 52 percent of Hispanic, 41 percent of white, and 39 percent of black teens reported having been exposed to drunk driving within the last month.
 

Figure SD 3.4  
Drunk Driving: Percentage of Teens in Grades 9-12 Who Reported Driving After Drinking Alcohol, or Riding with a Driver Who Had Been Drinking Alcohol, Within the Last Thirty Days, by Grade: 1991, 1993, and 1995 

SD3_4.GIF

Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance -- United States, 1991, 1993 and 1995. Unpublished tabulations by L. Kann, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.
 
 

Table SD 3.4 
Drunk Driving: Percentage of Teens in Grades 9-12 Who Report Driving After Drinking Alcohol, or Riding with a Driver Who Had Been Drinking Alcohol, Within the Last Thirty Days: 1991, 1993, and 1995

           
     
1991
1993
1995
     
 
 
 
Total
42
38
42
  Gender
    Male 
44
40
43
    Female
41
36
40
  Grade
    9th
36
32
39
    10th
39
37
40
    11th
45
39
41
    12th
49
44
46
  Race/Ethnicity
    White
43
37
41
    Black
38
41
39
    Hispanic
49
45
52
           
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance United States, 1991, 1993, and 1995. Unpublished tabulations by L. Kann, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.

 

26 "Update: Alcohol-Related Traffic Crashes and Fatalities Among Youth and Young Adults United States, 1982-1994." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 44:869-874.
 
 

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