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New Year's Eve carries high risk of car crashes for teen drivers

For many people, New Year's Eve is a fun, exciting night. It is the culmination not only of the holiday season but of the year, and the start of a new year and a clean slate. Therefore, it is understandable that many celebrate New Year's Eve by partying with friends, raising a glass of champagne at midnight to toast the new year.

But it is what happens after midnight that can make the night memorable for all the wrong reasons. According to a new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance, teenage drivers are more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year's Eve than any other holiday, significantly increasing the likelihood that they will be involved in a car accident resulting in injury or even death.

The study was conducted through a survey of approximately 2,300 eleventh and twelfth grade students in Bergen County and throughout the state and country. Researchers found that 10 percent of teenagers have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year's Eve, as compared to 8 percent on the Fourth of July and 6 percent on prom and homecoming nights.

However, researchers also found that teens are aware of the dangers of driving on New Year's Eve: about half consider New Year's "extremely/very dangerous to drive." Also, more than 90 percent of respondents would stop driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs would stop their dangerous behavior if asked to do so by a passenger in their vehicle. So it is important for parents to encourage their teenagers to speak up if they feel as if they are in danger.

If your teenager has been injured as a result in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Norristown Patch, "Study Reveals More Teens Drink and Drive on NYE Than Any Other Holiday," Dec. 28, 2011

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