Danger in the Passenger Seat

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Teenage drivers are scary enough. Teen drivers who drink are doubly so: 21% of young drivers killed in car crashes are intoxicated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A new study, however, suggests the greater statistical danger for teens is not drinking and driving but riding with a driver who is drinking. A survey of 1,534 Californians ages 15 to 20 published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that nearly 50% had ridden in a car with a drunk driver in the previous 12 months. The study also found that Latino teenagers were more at risk than other youths — and Asian-Americans less so — for driving and riding behaviors that put them in danger.