If that headline makes your blood boil, brace yourself. It gets worse...
Apparently, they don't view themselves as a danger: Almost 20 percent of those who drink and drive say it improves their driving, and that's the opinion held by 34% of those who drive under the influence of marijuana.
USA TODAY reports these findings from a new survey of 1,708 11th- and 12th-graders by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and insurer Liberty Mutual.
Of course, this news is alarming but at the same time let's separate the words from the actions. Do we really believe that today's teens are that much different from yesterday's?
Kids think they're immortal and invincible, that's human nature. Time and maturity changes that. But until that occurs, it's our job to educate them as best we can.
After all, most of us (if we're honest with ourselves) can remember one or two of our own teen driving incidents when perhaps our best judgment was on vacation.
It's disturbing that even with all education and efforts of organizations such as MADD that so many teens still fail to recognize the potency of alcohol. And with marijuana 34 percent said it makes them better drivers and 41 percent said they thought it had no impact.
The facts, as reported by USA TODAY's Larry Copeland, illustrate the consequences experienced by teens who entertain similar delusions...
Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, about 2,700 people 16-19 were killed and 282,000 were injured in crashes. Alcohol exacerbates the problem. In 2011, 32% of drivers 15-20 killed in crashes had been drinking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Drivers were less likely to use restraints when drinking: Of the young drivers who had been drinking and were killed, 70% were unrestrained, compared with 49% of young non-drinking drivers killed.
Is is reason to be concerned? Definitely. Is it cause for panic?
Let cooler heads prevail.