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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Many Teens Accept Rides From Drivers Who Had Been Drinking

Driving under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea, and while most teenagers are aware of the dangers - they drive anyway. New research suggests that many teens are willing to be accompanied by a driver that has been drinking. A new survey has found that 30 percent of teenagers have accepted a ride in the last year from a driver they knew had been drinking, HealthDay reports. The survey was sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and State Farm Insurance.

"Everyone would agree that riding with a drinking driver is not a good idea, but teens are making this choice to do so," said Dave Phillips, a State Farm spokesman. "This study shows that teens don't plan to ride with a drinking driver, but they are willing to do so if the situation comes up." 

The findings come from 600 teenagers who participated in an online poll. The data indicates that one in four would be willing to ride with a driver that has been consuming alcohol, according to the article. On the hand, the survey showed that more than 90 percent of teenagers report being willing to speak with their friends about the risks of riding with drunk drivers, and 70 percent do not believe that speaking against riding with drunk drivers would damage their friendships.

Robert Turrisi, a professor of biobehavioral health with Penn State's Prevention Research Center, says that parents need to talk with their teenagers about handling situations involving drunk driving. He points out that teens process decisions differently than adults.

"Young people are not just small versions of adults," said Turrisi. "They really think fundamentally different. They make their decisions more based upon emotions than well-thought-out plans, most of the time."

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