The growing awareness of alcohol hazards has made people more cautious of their drinking habits, particularly young adults. At present young adults have the highest prevalence of alcohol consumption than any other age group. They also drink more heavily, experience more negative consequences, and engage in more harmful activities, specifically drunk driving. Although surveys have documented a decline in recent years, consumption rates remain highest from late teen years to the late twenties (Johnston1-3). Despite the long-term decline since 1982 in alcohol related traffic deaths, a 4 percent increase occurred between 1994 and 1995 among young adults age 21 and over (Hingson 4). As alcohol-impaired driving persists, legal and community initiatives intervene to help reduce the problem, as well as, continuing research on possible solutions. Problems Posed by Alcohol-Impaired Driving:
The biggest problem with drunk driving by young adults is the high rate of traffic accidents. Although young drivers ages 16 through 25 makeup only 15% of U.S. licensed drivers, they constitute 30 percent of all alcohol-related driving fatalities. This is double the amount of licensed drivers in that age group. Inexperience with both drinking and driving may contribute to this disproportionate rate. Nationwide in 1996, people ages 15 to 24 died in fatal motor vehicle crashes and 45 percent of those deaths were a result of alcohol (NHTSA 4). So it comes to no surprise that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people younger than 25 (NCHS 98). Specific factors that pertain to this fatal problem are blood alcohol content (BAC), failure to wear seatbelts, and inexperienced driving. Of all these, the blood alcohol content or BAC level causes the most risk to young adults¡¯ drinking and driving. National research comparing BAC of drivers in single-vehicle crashes with that of drivers not in crashes reveals that each .02% increase in content level nearly...
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