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Teens Who Ride With Impaired Drivers More Likely to Drink and Drive

The reality of peer pressure is well-documented. Teens are known to perform better or worse, depending on their peer network. They are also more likely to try alcohol or smoking if they are exposed to it through their friends. In another recent study, teens have been found to be more likely to drink and drive when they have already been in a car where a driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol. While the study may not be groundbreaking in terms of teen psychology, it does shed light on the reality that sound advice may not be enough to stop teens.
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Teen drinking and driving poses a serious hazard to drivers, their passengers, as well as other motorists on the road. Our Lynn car accident attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of victims and preventing DUI accidents. In addition to our staunch advocacy in the Boston community, we are also dedicated to staying abreast of developments and trends that impact road safety in Massachusetts. Understanding why a teen might get behind a wheel while intoxicated could help to prevent future accidents.

The study, recently published in Pediatrics, also found that the more likely a teen was to ride with an intoxicated driver, the more likely he or she was to have riskier driving behavior. According to Reuters, other studies have shown that there are ties between riding with an impaired driver and the risk of drunk driving. The new survey examines the rates of drunk driving among 2,500 high school students over the course of time. The researchers were interested in looking at the trend of riding with an intoxicated driver and getting behind the wheel while impaired. As they predicted, teens who were more often with impaired drivers were more likely to drunk drive themselves.

The researchers were surprised at the high proportion of teens who had either drove drunk or got behind the wheel with a drunk driver (approximately 30%). The dangers of drinking and driving are well-known. While it only takes one time to cause a catastrophic or fatal accident, the more often a driver is drunk behind the wheel, the more likely a drunk driving accident will occur. According to the study, 12 to 14 percent off all the students reported impaired driving, while 23 to 38 reported riding with an impaired driver.

The results indicated a clear relationship between riding with intoxicated drivers and driving while intoxicated. After an analysis, researchers found that students who reported riding with an intoxicated driver were more than 10 times more likely to do it a second time. This risk grew to 38 times greater when riding in cars with intoxicated drivers more than once; and 127 more times as likely if they reported the behavior on a third survey.

Drunk drivers who are caught are more likely to have driven drunk in the past. Similarly, teens who continue to ride with impaired drivers are more likely to drunk drive or be involved in a drunk driving accidents. Parents should be aware of the risks, teaching kids not to be a passenger with an impaired driving or get behind the wheel.


Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
Officer Accused of Drunk Driving with Child in Vehicle, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, January 5, 2014

MADD Praises DADSS Research to Fight Drunk Driving Accidents
, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, January 8, 2014