David J. Celuch
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Teen deaths on the rise

Teens in Oregon and the rest of the United States are dying from car crashes, drug overdoses and guns at alarming rates. According to CNN, between 1999 and 2013, there was a 33 percent decline in the death rate for people at ages 10 to 19 years old in America. It then climbed by 12 percent between 2013 and 2016. Many experts point to ramping up efforts to educate teens on car and driver safety as a solid solution.

While Forbes agrees with the problem, it appears that teenagers already know perfectly well that distracted driving and driving under the influence can lead to accidents and deaths. However, many of them participate in these activities anyway. To add to this, teenagers’ lack of experience may make it difficult for them to decide what counts as being too impaired to drive.

The survey cited by Forbes states that 68 percent of the teens who admitted to driving under the influence said that getting behind the wheel after more than three alcoholic beverages was rare. Even driving after two drinks is troubling, but teenagers do not always pick up on this. Another troubling finding in the survey was that many teens believed that if they could make it to the car without falling down, they were sober enough to drive home.

Despite these holes in the original proposed solution, Forbes does agree that some further education is necessary. However, instead of just going over the same “do not drive and drive” rhetoric, a better solution may be for parents to discuss more practical applications of this information.

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