Perhaps The Only Good Thing About Expensive Gas Is The Decrease In Teens Driving Drunk

Trying to think of any reason paying more at the pump is a good thing would stump the average consumer (thinner wallets after paying with cash?), but one and possibly the only good side effect of pricey gas is that it could be keeping drunk teens from driving. After all, high school jobs and allowances can only stretch so far.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new report (via the Los Angeles Times) that the number of teens who admit to driving while intoxicated has dropped by 54% since 1991.

In 2011, only one in 10 teens admitted to drunk driving, while 22.3% of teens fessed up to that dangerous practice in 1991. Part of the reason there aren’t as many drunk teens out there behind the wheel could be because of laws covering drinking age and compliance checks at stores selling alcohol.

But a notable shift has also happened because of the recession. Teens can’t get jobs as easily as they used to, and then can’t afford the high price of gas as easily.

“Teens are especially sensitive to increases in gasoline prices and declines in economic conditions, which might have decreased their miles driven since 2007,” according to the report.

The unfortunate part of the study? Among those teens that said they did drink and drive, 85% admitted to being binge drinkers. Someone needs to take the keys away in that case.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [CDC.gov]
The upside of expensive gas: Less teen drunk driving [Los Angeles Times]