There's one good thing about our rapidly rising gas prices.
They seem to deter kids from drinking and driving. That's one of the conclusions of a Centers for Disease Control study this week that says the incidence of drunk teens behind the wheel in the United States has decreased 54 percent in the last 20 years.
Because they can't afford to drive with gas prices as high as they've been!
(Drinking and skateboarding, however — definitely on the rise).
But seriously, the study cites our increasingly Euro-style gas prices as a factor:
… Teens are especially sensitive to increases in gasoline prices and declines in economic conditions, which might have decreased their miles driven since 2007.
Researchers, however, mainly blamed strict 21-and-older drinking laws across the land, good parenting and “graduated driver licensing systems in every state that allow teens to gain privileges, such as driving at night or driving with passengers, over time.”
The study looked at American kids 16-and-older from 1991 to 2011. While the numbers are encouraging, it found that 85 percent of those who did drink and drive were binge drinkers.
CDC director Thomas R. Frieden:
We are moving in the right direction. Rates of teen drinking and driving have been cut in half in 20 years.
Let's just hope we can do this without so much pain at the pump.