Study Shows Teens Often Ride with Impaired Drivers

A new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reveals that one-third of young people just out of high school admit to riding in a vehicle with an impaired driver.

The study reviewed data from two surveys collected in 2013 and 2014 of more than 2,000 young adults one or two years out of high school. The first survey showed that 25% of women and 22% of men surveyed admitted to riding with a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the second survey, 33% of participants had ridden with an impaired driver.

The impaired driver was more likely to be a peer than someone older, the study found. Additionally, binge drinking and marijuana use were both linked to a higher likelihood of getting into a vehicle with an impaired driver. In fact, marijuana users were more than twice as likely to ride with an alcohol-impaired driver than were non-users.

Riding with Impaired Driver Increases Crash Risk for Young People

It is notable that drunk driving has become more stigmatized over the past few decades. Yet it seems that riding with an impaired driver—particularly one impaired by something other than alcohol—might not be perceived as being all that dangerous. The reality, though, is that teens and young adults already have a higher risk of being involved in a crash. Riding with an impaired peer elevates that risk even further. Moreover, another study showed that riding with an impaired driver was an independent risk factor for teenage DWI.

“We need to continue to reinforce to young people that riding with an impaired driver is dangerous,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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