NEW YORK – We can all agree that drunk driving is never a good idea. Still, many people choose to do it. We can also agree that riding with a drunk driver isn’t a wise choice either. Still, many people do this – especially teens.
Across the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. However, many teens are involved in drunk driving accidents each year. Some of them had been drinking and many others hadn’t but their choices still resulted in serious injuries and sometimes their death. According to a study released by the Research Society on Alcoholism, 1 in every 5 alcohol-fueled traffic fatalities was a passenger.
A Long Island car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the problem could be that passengers are ‘willing’ to ride with a drunk driver.
“Some people don’t plan on getting a ride with a drunk driver but it frequently happens in Long Island,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Teens could be at a higher risk because they could think they’re helping a drunk driver by being a passenger – sort of like a copilot.”
The RSA study found that teens are at extreme risk of being passengers in drunk driving crashes simply because they’re willing to ride with a drinking driver when they believe it will have a positive result. Specifically, researchers said “helping,” “supporting,” or “protecting a friend” were excuses teens used for riding with a drunk driver.
Some surveys estimate 1 in 4 teens are willing to be a passenger in a vehicle driven by a person who has been drinking.
Statistics show thousands of teens are killed each year due to these decisions.
“It is important for adults and role models to educate teens about the dangers of drunk driving,” Barnes said. “With today’s ridesharing and improved public transportation, there’s no reason a driver should ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.”
As safety advocates, Cellino & Barnes aims to raise awareness of the dangers and risks involved with drunk driving. The firm’s Long Island car accident attorneys have also helped the victims of alcohol-fueled car crashes and other accidents receive over $1.5 billion in compensation.
National Teen Driver Safety Week lasts until October 24th, with the goal of minimizing teen driving accidents.