A new study of 2,500 teenagers has found that teen drivers are likely to reproduce behavior that they see behind the wheel when it comes to drunk driving. In fact, teens who are exposed as a passenger to someone else driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are 120 times more likely to drive drunk than those who were never exposed to the behavior.

This dramatic increase in likelihood is concerning to say the least, but the new information about factors influencing may be helpful in preventing teen drunk driving. Researchers say that this data should send a strong message to parents that they need to set a good example for their teen children when it comes to driving after they have had something to drink. Even if it is only one or two drinks at dinner, teens should understand the risks associated with this behavior and how to make safe decisions when it comes to drinking and driving.

About half of all fatalities and serious injuries in drunk driving accidents happen to passengers, so the data indicates that teens are putting themselves at risk in several different ways by allowing others to drive drunk and driving drunk themselves.

Victims of drunk driving accidents should know that they have options when it comes to seeking compensation for their injuries. It is equally important to hold the responsible parties accountable while also being repaid for past and future medical expenses and other costs that result from the car accident.

Source: USA Today, ” Riding with impaired drivers increases teens’ DUI risks,” Michelle Healy, Mar. 17, 2014