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Teenage Drunk Driving Is Still a Problem

The Facts on Drinking and Driving & How to Prevent It

Drunk driving accidents have become the number one killer of teenagers and young adults. Many parents think that their children would not drive after drinking or get the car with someone who was drunk. Statistics show, however, that teens are in fact drinking and driving; a 2011 report from Liberty Mutual and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) revealed that one in five teens admitted to driving under the influence and one in four teens said they would take a ride from someone who was drinking.

Communication is Key to Preventing Drunk Driving

The easiest, and sometimes most effective, method of drunk driving prevention is talking to teens about the dangers. Studies show that parents who establish guidelines and expectations for behavior have teens more likely to say “no” to alcohol. Putting an agreement into writing can also be effective; teens agreeing to not drink and drive and understanding the consequences if they do can put into perspective the true danger of those actions.

Align with Other Parents to Prevent Drunk Driving

Many teens admit that getting alcohol when under the legal drinking age is simple. While 98 percent of parents state they would never give alcohol to underage individuals, 28 percent of teens stated they have attended supervised parties where alcohol was available. Getting to know teen’s friends and their parents makes it easy to communicate expectations regarding alcohol and behavior.

Creating a Code with Teens Can Assist Drunk Driving Prevention

If a situation with drinking does arise, it is import to let teens know that they can contact parents for help. Many teens admit to not calling their parents for a ride because they feel it will embarrass them in front of peers. By creating a “secret code,” teens may feel more comfortable calling or texting parents for help when they cannot drive. By agreeing to pick them up with “no questions asked” and creating trust, teens are more likely to contact parents for help. Address the issue at a later because at that moment, the most important thing is getting the kids home safely.

Drunk driving and the devastating accidents that can occur are a nightmare for parents of teenage children. Teens that get behind the wheel under the influence are a threat to harm themselves as well as any passengers or other drivers on the road. By having open communication, aligning with other parents, and creating a code with teens, parents can effectively prevent drunk driving.

*Photo Courtesy of jpalinsad360 via Creative Commons License