March 24, 2014

The common saying “monkey see, monkey do” describes the act of learning or copying a behavior without thought, without education or acknowledgment of the consequences. If you are a parent, you know that young children often mimic the behaviors that they see around them, and in some cases they are behaviors that aren’t so good.

What about our teenage children? In some instances, it seems as though the instinct to mimic the behavior of others hasn’t gone away by this stage in life. A recent study says that when it comes to drunk driving, teenagers that ride in a vehicle with another impaired driver are more likely to drive drunk themselves.

The study was authored by Bruce Simons-Morton, a senior investigator with the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. He wrote about the discoveries he and his team of researchers made involving drunk driving behavior.

Utilizing the survey tool, researchers found that those who reported riding with a drunk driver in 10th grade were more likely to report driving while impaired themselves in 12th grade. Those that reported riding with a drunk driver in all three of the surveys from 10th through 12th grade were “many times more likely” to drive drunk as a senior.

There is no doubt that driving while impaired is a dangerous behavior. What some people may not appreciate is the fact that riding with an intoxicated driver is equally as dangerous. Simons-Morton reminded passengers that “nearly half of fatalities and serious injuries in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes occur to passengers.”

Whether they are the driver or a passenger in a car, those that are injured by an impaired driver in Pennsylvania should discuss their case with a Doylestown attorney. There may be a viable claim for personal injury compensation.

Source: USA TODAY, “Riding with impaired drivers increases teens’ DWI risks,” Michelle Healy, March 17, 2014