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Do Louisiana teens understand the severity of impaired driving?

Readers of this blog may be aware that car accidents are a concern on the roadways of Louisiana, just as they are in many states across the country. These car collisions can lead to serious injuries and, in the most tragic situations, even death. Now research is showing that youth driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is causing numerous injuries and deaths. What makes this statistic even scarier? The detrimental impact of such behaviors seems to fall on deaf teenage ears.

According to a Master Trooper of the Louisiana State Police, 5,000 individuals under the age of 21 die every year due to underage drinking. In Louisiana, drivers ranging in age from 15 to 24 had the highest rate of crashes compared to any other age group in 2013. In addition, crashes involving alcohol killed 54 people in that age range in 2013.

These statistics may seem to show that something needs to be done to work toward preventing these car collisions. However, the way numerous teenagers react to these incidents proves the difficulty in overcoming accidents caused by a drunk driver. According to some teenagers in Louisiana, no one really talks about the accidents. If anything, they're just shocked they knew the individuals that were killed but no one mentions anything about them being drunk or high or even both.

It is important that teenagers in Louisiana and their parents understand the consequences of this type of behavior. Not only does the accident leave a huge impact on their own lives, it adversely affects the lives of everyone involved. When Louisiana residents lose a loved one in a tragic accident caused by someone else, they may be able to file a civil suit, asking for compensation to cover medical expenses but can, in certain circumstances, cover more.

Source: Shreveport Times, "Recent crash, reactions highlight crisis of youth driving impaired," Maya Lau, June 28, 2014

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