Underage drinking continues to gnaw away at America’s youth, with about 11 million of those under the legal drinking age of twenty-one consuming alcohol. Nowhere are the consequences of underage alcohol consumption more apparent than on our roadways. The tragic statistics of accidents caused on our nation’s roads and highways due to underage drinking and driving are staggering, where death, injury, and lasting heartbreak are too often the aftermath. In fact, the most recent national underage drinking statistics are striking. When these statistics are blended with the unfortunate event of an automobile collision, the outcome almost always demands the counsel of an auto accident attorney.


Underage drinking causes about 4,300 deaths per year.

Heavy Drinkers

Seventy percent of those nineteen to twenty years old have drunk heavily on occasions. This same age bracket also drinks eleven percent of the total alcohol consumed in the U.S. every year.

One Million Teens Drink and Drive

Although the number of high school teens who drink and drive has decreased by fifty-four percent since 1991, nearly one million high schoolers continue to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel every year.

The Percentages

Drivers sixteen to twenty years old with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent are seventeen times more likely to be killed in an automobile accident when compared to their contemporaries who have not been drinking.

Increasing Risks

Teenage drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident than experienced drivers. Naturally, the consumption of any amount of alcohol dramatically increases this risk.

Binge Drinking

Underage drinking has generated nearly 190,000 emergency room visits. More than 90 percent of the alcohol consumed in these instances is considered to be binge drinking—”the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period.”

Literally Staggering

One in six teens binge drinks. Of those surveyed, the percentage of binge drinkers increases from one percent at thirteen years old to fifty percent by the age of twenty-one.

In Summation

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted a survey in 2013 in which they asked the high schoolers to detail their activities for the past thirty days. The results were eye-opening. The survey discovered that thirty-five percent had consumed alcohol, twenty-one percent had taken part in binge drinking, ten percent had driven a vehicle after drinking, and twenty-two percent had ridden as a passenger with an intoxicated driver.

Bottom Line

Teen car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens in the United States. If you are involved in a collision due to an underage, impaired driver, it is imperative that you reach out to a car accident attorney for help.

Special thanks to Gabriela Pinto for the image.