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Thanks to technological advances involving brain scans, we now know that even at 21 the brain is still developing. There are important changes occurring in brain development during the teenage years. Alcohol retards these changes, and has both short- and long-term effects, including damage to:
- Learning capabilities
- Decision–making process, and
- Reasoning ability
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the U.S. minimum drinking age laws have saved 28,765 lives since 1975.
The consensus by the experts is that this is a very conservative number when you consider lives saved beyond traffic safety.
For two great discussions about underage drinking issues and the benefits of the 21-year-old minimum drinking age, listen to the Traffic Safety Guy's interviews with leading experts on the Highway to Safety Podcast.
To learn more on why the age requirement was passed, click here: Highway to Safety - Episode 25
To learn more about the overall benefits of these laws, click here: Highway to Safety - Episode 26