We've all heard and/or read about the dangers of not drinking and driving, right? Of course! With each passing year, people get more informed about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Why is it, then, people still make the risky decision to get behind the wheel after a "few" drinks? And why to teens and children not old enough to drive, still ride passenger with a drunk driver?
By now we're in the 21st century and most all of know that alcohol is the leading cause of death in teens and is the cause of a whole 50% of all fatal accidents. But did you know by calculating that information, drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 make up only 14% of U.S. population, but 28% of all alcohol-related driving mishaps? That's an average of 8 teens per day dying by the hands of an alcohol-influenced driver.
Obviously, teens aren't the only ones perishing. One person dies about every half hour due to these catastrophes. While alcohol is only a factor in 4% of all car wrecks, it is the aid in 41% of all fatal crashes. What that means is that American loses, on average, 16,000 people annually because of drinking and driving.
With all bad, discouraging news there comes good, commendable news, also. Recent studies show that in the course of 1986-1995, the rate of people in the U.S. drinking and driving has dropped 28 percent. This decline is assisted by educating the youthful, up and coming teen drivers. Getting the facts beforehand helps in making the right choices in the immediate future. Other benefactors of this great decrease are the many leadership groups. These groups include MADD (Mothers Against Drinking and Driving) and SADD (Students Against Driving Drunk/Destructive Decisions.
The organization MADD was made possible by the thousands of mothers who have lost loved ones (mainly sons and/or daughters), and want to try and warn others that being killed by a drunk driver isn't an impossibility, or something that could "never happen to someone like them." SADD was formed by students who saw people they know and love make destructive decisions, including driving under the influence. Starting out with just a few students in 1981 in Massachusetts, SADD is now the nation's most dominant peer-to-peer education and prevention organizations. These two groups are just a couple of examples of the many people trying diligently to stop these wrongful deaths from occurring.
Maybe you think that none of the aforementioned applies to you, but don't be fooled. At least one of every 5 people know someone who has tragically died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. One of the worst possible crimes of the century is to bee ill-informed. Brush up on you're facts and take action! See what you can do in your community to stop these terrible decisions from being made. Clearly people can't stop everyone from making a life-risking choice, but if could never hurt to learn a little and share you're knowledge with friends and family, for surely you are bound to touch someone. Don't wait for a friend's life to be cut short before you get involved. You can make a difference!

Kelsey West

Mrs. Ward ~ English "Don't Drink and Drive" essay January 28, 2004

All facts were guided by www.google.com.