Alcohol-related traffic fatalities among youth and young adults--United States, 1982-1989

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1991 Mar 22;40(11):178-9, 185-7.


Unintentional injuries account for approximately half of all deaths among young persons aged 15-24 years in the United States; of these deaths, approximately 75% involve motor vehicles. Although alcohol use increases the risk for a motor vehicle crash for all drivers, for young drivers the risk begins to increase at very low blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Moreover, in young persons who drive after drinking, the relative risk for crash involvement is greater at all BAC levels than it is for older drinking drivers. This report summarizes data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatal Accident Reporting System on trends in alcohol-related traffic fatalities (ARTFs) in the United States from 1982 through 1989; trends are presented for three groups of young persons (15- to 17-, 18- to 20-, and 21- to 24-year-olds) and are compared with those for adults aged greater than or equal to 25 years.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • United States / epidemiology