Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Drinking-Age Laws Affect Teen Accident Rate

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Drinking-Age Laws Affect Teen Accident Rate

Article excerpt

Legal-drinking-age laws in Canada can have a major effect on young drivers, says a new study from the University of Northern British Columbia. Drivers just older than the legal drinking age had significantly more motor vehicle crashes than those immediately below the legal drinking age.

In the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Russ Why some creatures needn't worry about sunburn. Callaghan and his research team looked at Quebec motor vehicle collision statistics between 2000 and 2012 that involved young drivers. They found that, compared to those just under legal drinking age, drivers at or above the age had an abrupt increase of 6% in their number of collisions. This increase was even more marked at night, when collisions increased by 11% immediately at the minimum legal drinking age.

"As soon as youth are given legal access to alcohol, there are immediate effects on the road," says Callaghan, the study's lead author and an associate professor at the university. "The number of collisions involving both male and female drivers who have just reached legal drinking age rises dramatically, which illustrates the impact that alcohol-related legislation can have on population harm and injury prevention."

The legal drinking age is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec and 19 in the rest of Canada. …

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