There may be a plus side to rising gas prices. According to the Center for Disease Control, increasing gas prices may have contributed to fewer teens driving, therefore decreasing the amount of teens pounding some brewskies and getting behind the wheel.
Drunk driving among teens fell 54 percent over the past two decades, reports Bloomberg. People ages 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to be killed in a crash when their blood alcohol level is .08 percent.
According to data from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “Declines in both alcohol consumption and driving likely have contributed to the reduction in drinking and driving among high school students.”
Between 2000-10 the proportion of high school seniors who weren’t getting behind the wheel during an average week grew to 22 percent from 15 percent.
The CDC cites three major factors that likely contributed to the decline in drunk driving among teens: laws establishing a minimum drinking age, graduated driver license laws that extend the learner period for beginning drivers, and increasing gasoline prices.
Teenagers are very responsive to higher gas prices, which may be a reason why they’ve decreased the amount of driving they’ve done since 2007, according to the CDC.
Gas prices declined and bottomed out in late 2008, according to data from GasBuddy.com, but prices began to rebound in early 2009, but never to the historic high price in 2008.
The highest recorded average price for gas in the U.S. was about $4.11 in July 2008, according to AAA. Today, the average price is lower today at around $3.78, but still above the price was last year at about $3.42.
The CDC’s data was from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys that “monitors behaviors that contribute to injuries and violence, sexual behaviors, alcohol and drug use, tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and physical activity,” Bloomberg reports.
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