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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2008, about 3,500 teens in the United States aged 15-19 were killed as a result of motor-vehicle crashes, and 25% of those killed in these accidents had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or higher.” (“Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet” 1). Believe it or not, teenage drunk driving is still the number one cause of teen death. It has become the deadliest epidemic to plague our society today. With the widespread “Alcohol Awareness” programs, like D.A.R.E. and SADD, available in most public schools, most teens have been told not to drink and drive, yet teens are still taking the risk. In order to finally stop this unnecessary phenomenon, we must first understand its causes and effects. Caused by a number of psychological factors, teenage drunk driving leads to physical, mental, and emotional pain for not only the driver but also the innocent bystanders.

So, what are the causes of drunk driving? For teens, it’s caused by our urge to rebel and our unwillingness to speak out against it. The first cause is rebellion. Whether we’re ditching class, staying out past curfew, or driving while drunk, teens have always been known to rebel against authority. Teens have been told not to drink and drive, but it’s in our nature to scratch our itch to rebel. Teens often brag about drinking and driving as long as they get away with it. Drunk driving is a twisted way to boost the egos of some teens and make them feel defiant. The second cause for this social affliction is that we, as teens, let it happen. Teens today have trouble speaking out against drunk driving. Teens are much more likely to ride as passengers in cars driven by drunk drivers now than in previous generations. The CDC also published that: “In a national survey conducted in 2007, nearly three out of ten teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.” (“Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet” 2). Teens are willing to risk their...
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