Almost 25 percent of teen drivers in a study released today admitted to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The results come from a study commissioned by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and was conducted by global market research firm ORC International. According to the survey, 91 percent of teen drivers consider themselves to be safe or cautious behind the wheel.
“The fact that an overwhelming number of teens admit to extremely unsafe driving habits and completely dismiss any risk concern yet still consider themselves safe drivers means either teens have a different definition of ‘safe’ or we need to do a better job of educating kids about the dangers of this type of behavior,” said Dave Melton, Liberty Mutual managing director of global safety.
Apart from suggesting that a large portion of teens drive under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or prescription drugs, it also shows that some surveyed think their driving gets better after drinking or getting high. According to the study, almost 40 percent said alcohol has no impact or even improves their driving, and 75 percent see smoking pot and driving in the same light.
“Among the many questions in the survey, we asked the teens to tell us the frequency they have driven under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs,” liberty Mutual spokesman Glenn Greenburg said in an email.
While the survey didn’t examine the level of intoxication among its participants, it points to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association that finds a 19 percent increase during the first half of 2012 among 16- and 17-year-old drivers.