A U.S. government report has shown a 54 percent decrease in teen drinking and driving since 1991. However, nearly one million high school teens still drink and drive each year.
A study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that the proportion of teenagers who drive after consuming alcohol has fallen by 54 percent between 1991 and 2011. A teen was defined as young people in high school (aged 16 and over).
The study also showed that nine out of 10 high school teens did not drink and drive during 2011. However, the figure of 1 in 10 who did drink and drive still represents around a million young people behind the wheel.
Of those who drink, high school boys ages 18 and older were most likely to drink and drive.
The study was based on data extracted from the 1991-2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS), which are based on interviews with young people.
Commenting on the research, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said: “We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years. But we must keep up the momentum -- one in 10 high school teens, aged 16 and older, drinks and drives each month, endangering themselves and others.”
In terms of bringing the rate down further, the CDC advice is for parents to play a greater role. A CDC advice note states that parents “can model safe driving behavior and set and enforce the “rules of the road” by completing a 'parent-teen driving agreement' with their teens.”