Journal of Pediatrics Study Shows Likelihood of Teen Drinking and Driving

teen drinkingIt can be pretty scary handing over the car keys to your teen. Whether it’s their first time out on the road after getting their license or they want to drive for another weekend night out with friends, it can be nerve-wracking waiting and worrying about them while they’re out. Part of that is because you may wonder if they’ve listened to what you’ve tried to teach them about the dangers of teen drinking and driving.

According to a study recently published by the Journal of Pediatrics, you may have reason to worry, especially if your teen has been in a car driven by someone who has been drinking. The study took a look at the association between driving while intoxicated (DWI) and how much prior exposure the teen had to riding with someone who was impaired. The findings showed a strong likelihood that if a teen was exposed to others driving while intoxicated, they were much more likely to drive while intoxicated themselves.

Just like how teens are much more likely to text while they are driving because they feel confident in their ability to carry on the task without being distracted, teens who experience what it is like to drive with someone who is intoxicated can have the feeling that ‘nothing bad happened’ so it’s OK to drink and drive themselves.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, motor vehicle crashes are the most likely cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 to 25 and alcohol is a factor in 50% of these crashes. Because of this, it’s important to keep the conversation going when it comes to teen drinking and driving.

Ask your teen whether they’ve driven with someone who has been intoxicated. If they have, be sure to warn them that there are serious consequences to drinking and driving. Just because they didn’t experience a crash one time doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink and drive.