An important study conducted by the Health Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has found that teens who have been in cars with impaired drivers may be more likely themselves to get behind the wheel drunk or drugged. The study also reveals that the more frequently the teen is exposed to this risky behavior, the more risky their own driving habits become.  It also revealed some other troubling statistics.

The study found that about 30% of the teens surveyed – a group consisting of 2,500 U.S. students between 10th and 12th grades, who were surveyed over time, and not just at one point – admitted that they either drove while intoxicated or rode with an intoxicated driver within the last three years. Between 12% and 14% reported impaired driving in the past month, and 23% to 38% reported riding in cars with drunk or drugged drivers within the last year, according to the researchers. 

Bruce Simons- Morton, one of the researchers who published this study in “Pediatrics”, reported that teens who admitted riding with drunk or drugged drivers during one of the surveys were 10 times more likely to drive drunk or drugged than a teen who never reported riding in cars with impaired drivers. That risk grew to 34 times greater when they reported riding in cars with impaired drivers on two surveys, and 127 times greater if they were ported riding in cars with drunk or drugged drivers on all three surveys.”The magnitude of the association kind of gets one’s attention,” said Simons-Morton, who noted that “When you ride with an intoxicated driver, it sort of normalizes the idea of drinking and driving.” Parents and peers need to be persistent, Simons- Morton says, in planting the important message in your teen’s head that they should not drive or ride with intoxicated driver.

Stark & Stark is proud of its efforts on behalf of the victims of drunk or drug intoxicated driving. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death as a result of an impaired driver, contact Stark & Stark at 1-800-535-3425 or