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New ad campaign to target teen drinking and driving

A serious concern on Tennessee roads and throughout the nation, underage drinking and driving is being addressed in a new ad campaign launched in October 2015 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council. The public service effort is aimed at reducing this cause of teen accidents and fatalities. Statistics indicate that motor vehicle accidents account for a significant number of teen deaths in the nation, and in at least 50 percent of these deaths, decedents are drivers. An estimated one-fourth of teen drivers involved in motor vehicle fatalities have been under the influence of alcohol.

The campaign stresses that the long-term results of a drunk driving accident can be much more severe than those of party missteps. It will cover a broad range of print, media, and digital avenues, including the use of television ads, Internet banners and smartphone apps. The campaign has been developed free of charge by ad agencies and software developers.

While public efforts to effect change in the driving behaviors of teens may contribute to improved statistics, families also play a role in monitoring the driving activities of teens. It is important for parents to reinforce the importance of not driving after consuming alcohol and not riding with an impaired driver. It is also helpful to equip young people with strategies for refusing rides with impaired friends.

A passenger who is injured in an accident because of riding with a drunk driver could face a lengthy recovery period. Auto insurance might provide for some of the medical care needed, but in cases involving major injuries, it is possible that such coverage will fall short of the actual costs. A personal injury attorney might be of assistance to an injured victim in seeking appropriate compensation.

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