Car accidents on Ohio roads can range in severity from minor to catastrophic, but some of the most serious events involve drivers under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, this continues to be a serious issue among young drivers who aren’t even legally permitted to consume alcohol. In fact, one-fourth of underage drivers involved in fatality wrecks have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. The issue is of such major concern that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working with the Ad Council to target this situation.
A new public service campaign is expected to appeal to young people because of their major interests in technology. Smartphone apps and social media will play a major part in making the messaging of the campaign easily accessible to the targeted audience. One of the priority issues that may contribute to drunk driving among teens, peer pressure will be an important focus of the campaign. Party fouls, situations that cause embarrassment for many teens, will be highlighted as the NHTSA points to the fact that drunk driver car accidents are the worst examples of party fouls, resulting in the potential for long-term or life-ending consequences.
Because the NHTSA has a solid reputation for impacting the national community with strong messaging, the outlook for this new effort is positive. However, a public service campaign does not remove a parent’s responsibility for overseeing the driving behavior of a teen driver. In addition to teaching a teen to drive safely, a parent may want to reiterate the dangers of driving while impaired.
In some cases, adults could be liable for the drunk driving of young drivers. Those who could face personal injury actions related to teen DUI accidents might include parents who own a vehicle involved, adults who allow their facilities to be used for alcohol consumption by teens, and adults who directly assist teens in obtaining alcohol.