Most teens will not like this study out of Boston but the authors have your safety in mind. The experts advise that teens limit driving on the weekends.
“The vast majority of young people who die in alcohol-related crashes are killed on Friday and Saturday evenings,” said lead study author Dr. Scott Hadland of Boston University School of Medicine.
“Parents might consider limiting the extent to which young people drive during late hours on weekends,” Hadland added by email.
Even if youth themselves are not drinking and driving, they are more likely to be killed by adults who have been drinking and driving on weekend evenings, Hadland said.
Reuters describes how the study occurred writing: “The current study, which examined the combined impact of multiple policies to reduce drunk driving, found fatalities were much less likely in states with the toughest mix of laws.
Researchers analyzed crashes that occurred from 2000 to 2013 and involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent, the legal limit in most states. For a typical adult, drinking more than one beer or glass of wine in an hour will produce a blood alcohol level above this limit.
During the study period, there were 84,756 motor vehicle crash fatalities among people 20 and younger, including 23,757 collisions involving alcohol, researchers report in Pediatrics.
People killed in these crashes were predominantly male (73 percent) and most were at least 18 years old.
Researchers also scored each state on a scale up to 100 points for having the most restrictive legal environment for drunk driving.
Policies received higher points if they were deemed more effective at curbing drunk driving and related fatalities. These included laws restricting hours for alcohol sales or limiting when teens can drive or who can be in the car with them.
Average scores ranged from a low of 24 in Iowa at the start of the study to a high of 75 in Utah near the end of the study period.
Each 10-point increase in this score was associated with 9 percent lower odds of fatalities, the study found.
One limitation of the study is that researchers lacked data to assess how well laws were enforced.