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New ad campaign targets underage drunk drivers

California residents may be unaware that the leading cause of death for American teenagers is motor vehicle accidents. Of the teen drivers involved in fatal accidents, almost one-fourth had been drinking alcohol. As a result, the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have teamed up for a series of public service announcement designed to discourage teens from drinking and driving. The ads will appear both on television and online.

An earlier campaign included the line "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." Following a refinement of the campaign in 2005 to discourage drivers who were buzzed from getting behind the wheel, the number of young men who said they would opt to get home another way rather than trying to drive if they felt buzzed rose from 38 to 47 percent.

National Teen Driver Safety Week took place in October. Other dangers it focused on included texting and using a cellphone while driving, carrying extra passengers, failing to wear a seat belt and speeding. The campaign encouraged parents to discuss these dangers with their teen drivers.

Individuals of all ages may be seriously injured in accidents caused by behaviors such as these. Brain damage or other life-changing injuries could be the result. Even if the driver who is responsible is fully insured, it is possible that the insurance company might offer the injured victim only a small sum. In such a case, the victim may wish to consult an attorney to discuss the possibility of seeking compensation for the losses that have been incurred through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.

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