One in Three Young Adults Have Traveled with an Impaired Driver

Image result for highball glassIn spite of being aware of the risks of drunk driving, many teens choose to ride in cars being operated by intoxicated or impaired motorists anyway.

Those facts come from a recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers focused on accidents involving both alcohol- intoxicated and drug-impaired motorists. They found that teenagers are much more likely to ride in a car operated by a driver impaired by marijuana, than a driver intoxicated by alcohol.

The study was based on findings from between 2013 and 2014, and focused on young students who had just graduated from high school. The researchers found that at least one in three of the young teens reported that they had traveled in a car with an impaired motorist, on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months. Out of these, 23% of the young students surveyed said that they had traveled with a driver impaired by marijuana, while 20% had traveled in a car operated by a driver under the influence of alcohol.  According to the findings, teenagers need to be made more aware of the dangers of riding in a car with an impaired driver, especially one under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

There are other more disturbing findings. At least six percent of the students admitted that they had traveled in a car being operated by a motorist under the influence of drugs other than marijuana, including cocaine, opiates, and ecstasy.

The findings of the study are especially worrisome, because many of the driving behaviors that a person can be expected to exhibit over years of driving as an adult are developed during the teen driving years. These are the years during which a teenager understands the great risks associated with behaviors like impaired driving and speeding, and if he fails to gain a proper understanding of the risks of such behaviors, then these driving behaviors are only likely to manifest themselves permanently as part of his adult driving patterns. Moreover, the data shows that young teens who ride with an impaired driver once are likely to do so in the future too. Besides, when teens drive with impaired drivers, and reach their destination safely, they are actually much more likely to consider impaired driving not as risky, and may actually engage in such risky behaviors themselves.

Alcohol-related car accidents can be extremely serious and result in severe injuries or death. In Indiana, it is illegal to drive and operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of or greater than .08%. Holding a person liable in a car accident claim after a drunk driving crash can seem less challenging because there are tests that can legally prove the liability of the drunk motorist in the accident.

If your loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact an Indianapolis car accident lawyer at our firm, and understand your legal rights to a claim. Call to schedule a consultation with a lawyer- initial consultations are free.