Riding with impaired driver ups teen risk of driving impaired

March 18, 2014
Riding with impaired driver ups teen risk of driving impaired

(HealthDay)—Teenagers exposed to alcohol/drug impaired driving (riding while impaired [RWI]) have an increased likelihood of driving while alcohol/drug impaired (DWI) themselves, according to a study published online March 17 in Pediatrics.

Kaigang Li, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues used data from waves 1, 2, and 3 of the NEXT Generation Study to examine the correlation between RWI and DWI. Participants included a nationally representative sample of 10th graders.

The researchers found that, compared with those reporting never RWI, teenagers exposed to RWI at wave 1, wave 2, and wave 3 were substantially more likely to DWI (adjusted odds ratios [aORs], 21.12, 19.97, and 30.52, respectively; all P < 0.001). Similar results were seen for those who reported RWI at one wave, two waves, and all three waves (aORs, 10.89, 34.34, and 127.43; all P < 0.001), compared with those reporting never RWI. Compared with those who were licensed at wave 3, teenagers who reported driving licensure at wave 1 were more likely to DWI (aOR, 1.83; P < 0.05).

"The findings suggest that RWI and early licensure could be important prevention targets," the authors write.

Explore further: Fetal alcohol exposure affects brain structure in children

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