Despite efforts to make sure that teenagers drive safety and are not injured in traffic accidents caused by alcohol, one factor—family members or friends who drink and drive—still cause teens to ride unsafely. A recent report found that 30% have ridden with someone they know to be under the influence of alcohol in the past year. Even more strikingly, nearly 40% of those under the influence were parents, guardians, or other family members. Another 25% of teens said they are willing to accept a lift from someone who is under the influence of alcohol.
More than 600 teenagers were interviewed in a survey conducted by State Farm Insurance and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). A State Farm spokesman noted "Everyone would agree that riding with a drinking driver is not a good idea, but teens are making this choice to do so. 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."
In an encouraging part of the survey, though, teenagers indicated both willingness to talk with their peers about the perils of drunk driving and a feeling that they would be accepted if they did so. A large percentage—90%--said they could talk with friends about those risks, either in general or when specifically faced with the situation. Seventy percent think that discussing these dangers would not harm their relationships with friends. This is highly significant as peer pressure is thought to be a major factor in teens and accidents caused by alcohol.