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Riding with impaired drivers: a recipe for disaster?

There is little doubt that drunk driving can and has caused numerous injuries and wrongful deaths in Pennsylvania. There is a reason why it is illegal to drive while drunk or impaired by drugs -- it is wildly dangerous, not only to the one doing it, but also everyone else on the road. Combine drunk driving with inexperienced teenage drivers and catastrophic injuries could result.

Sadly, it seems that teenagers who are exposed to drunk or impaired driving are more likely to end up driving while impaired themselves. And this is not just driving while they are adults and have had years of expereience under their belt, but as high school seniors. Though more skill will not necessarily prevent a drunk driving crash, people with little experience driving are just more likely to cause an accident anyways.

Researchers looked at teenagers from across the country while they were in 10th grade and followed them for the last two years of high school. When they were sophomores, they were asked if they had ever been in a vehicle driven by someone impaired by alcohol or drugs. While they were seniors in high school, they were asked how many times in the last month they had driven while impaired themselves.

Apparently those students who said they had been driven by someone who was impaired during the three different times they were asked were 120 times more likely to drive while intoxicated than those who had never been exposed to drunk or drugged driving.

We can only hope that teenagers in Doylestown have had little exposure to impaired driving.

Source: USA Today, “Riding with impaired drivers increases teens' DUI risks,” Michelle Healy, March 17, 2014

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