MICHIGAN'S EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD LEGAL DRINKING AGE, ITS IMPACT ON YOUTH CRASH INVOLVEMENT

The study described in this report generated and presented appropriate statistical data regarding the traffic crash experience of Michigan drivers for the four years preceding and the four years following the reduction of the legal drinking age from 21 to 18. The Office of Highway Safety Planning found that the data showed statistically significant increases in the rates of alcohol-related crashes among 18 to 20 year-old drivers immediately following the lowering of legal drinking age in 1972. These increases continued through 1975 and can only be attributed to the change in the drinking law. In addition, a gradual but steady trend of increasing alcohol involvement in traffic crashes among all drivers was noted. As a result of this study, the Office of Highway Safety Planning made three recommendations. First, the legal drinking age in Michigan should be raised back to 21 over a three year period to avoid disenfranchising 18, 19 and 20 year-olds who can now legally drink. Second, new research to better define why young drivers, in particular, have so much difficulty in handling alcohol was recommended. Third, the Office of Highway Safety Planning recommended the development of comprehensive new alcohol abuse prevention programs, with initial emphasis on drivers age 23 and under.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. The report is in two volumes.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Safety Research Institute

    Huron Parkway and Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  USA  48109
  • Authors:
    • Reel, T O
  • Publication Date: 1977-2

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 106 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00165146
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 2 Volumes
  • Contract Numbers: MAL-96-001A
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 7 1978 12:00AM