Operating a motor vehicle at any age is dangerous, but teens may be at the greatest risk because they are the most inexperienced drivers. Unfortunately, teens are the age group most likely to become involved in motor vehicle collisions, and traffic accidents remain the leading cause of teen death.
With fall football season underway and the holiday season approaching, there are going to be lots of events for teens to attend. Many of these activities may be events at which teens are encouraged by their peers to consume alcoholic beverages. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that peer pressure is a driving force behind whether a young person will choose to drive drunk. Peer pressure can be a positive thing and discourage impaired driving, or it can be a negative influence as it causes young people to drink and sometimes to get behind the wheel.
Preventing Intoxicated Teen Driving Accidents This Fall
A study published by the National Institute of Health considered the impact of peer pressure on the choices kids make. Research showed that a teenager who has friends in his vehicle with him while driving is significantly more likely to become involved in a motor vehicle collision than a teen who is driving without his peers with him. Among adults, there is no similar increase when they drive with friends or peers in the vehicle.
The research also revealed that more popular teenagers were more likely to face peer pressure to consume alcoholic beverage. Although less popular teens were more susceptible to many types of peer pressure, it was more popular teenagers that were likely to consume alcoholic beverages in adolescence.
Finally, the research revealed that if a teen's peer group disapproves of impaired driving, the young person was significantly less likely to drink and drive. Parents need to be aware of the impact that their kid's friends have on the decision-making process and should make sure they know who their children are spending time with at football games, winter dances and holiday events.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognizes that peers can help to shape behavior and is using that to help promote sober driving. MADD has organized a Power of You(th), MADD program aimed at educating kids on the true facts about alcohol use and impaired driving. For example, only 30 percent of teenagers responding to surveys had consumed alcoholic beverages in the month prior to taking a survey while just 20 percent of teens admitted to binge drinking. Fewer young people than might be expected are consuming alcohol, so kids who choose to stay sober are in the majority.
As part of the Power of You(th), MADD has also selected 10 National Teen Influencers who attend MADD events and who are part of efforts in their local communities to reduce impaired driving among young people. These teens have often had their own lives affected by alcohol and driving, and they make victim statements that help other young people to see why they shouldn't drive drunk. Hopefully, this type of positive peer pressure can make a real difference in reducing the risk of teenagers getting behind the wheel impaired.
A Jonesboro personal injury lawyer can fight to protect your rights after an injury. Contact the McDaniel Law Firm at 1-855-524-4744. Serving Northeast Arkansas including Jonesboro, Paragould, Craighead County, Lawrence County, Greene County, Mississippi County, Poinsett County and surrounding areas.