When It Comes to Drunk Driving, Teenagers Copy What They See

According to a recent study published in the health journal Pediatrics, teenagers are significantly more likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol after witnessing others engage in the same behavior. The study suggests that teens who ride as passengers in vehicles operated by an impaired driver are up to 120 times more likely to drive impaired when they get behind the wheel.

This is a shocking statistic and one that unfortunately confirms what most of us already know about young adults: peer pressure is a powerful thing. Whether you’re a parent of a teenager or just someone concerned about safety on our roads, it’s important to know the facts as well as ways to combat this trend.

What the Numbers Show

Researchers observed approximately 2,500 high school-age teens in grades 10 through 12 over a four-year period. They gathered data by surveying the participants each year, asking them whether they themselves drove impaired or rode in a vehicle driven by an impaired driver. The study reveals that students were much more likely to admit to engaging in impaired driving if they had previously ridden with a driver who got behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol.

Protecting Young Drivers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a car accident when they drive impaired.

So what can parents do to protect their kids? According to tips published by the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are a number of things parents can do to prevent their kids from copying their peers:

  • Explain the law and the consequences of breaking it
  • Talk to their teens about peer pressure and suggest ways to handle it
  • Set a good example – don’t glamorize alcohol or drug use
  • Get to know their child’s friends and the people with whom they socialize
  • Understand the law with respect to underage impaired driving

Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers

Unfortunately, teens often give in to pressure from friends. If you have been injured in a DUI-related crash, you have important rights. The attorneys at the Klibaner Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call the office today at (303) 863-1445 to speak to an attorney about your case.

This website has been prepared by Klibaner Law Firm for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.