How big is the problem of teen drunk driving? Well, teens are involved in 40 percent of all alcohol-related fatal car crashes! Staggering statistic=pretty big problem. Because of their inexperience, many teens may not realize they are too impaired to drive, or they may be afraid to call home for a ride. At all levels of blood alcohol concentration, the risk of being involved in a crash are greater for young people than for older people.
There are many organizations committed to teen drunk driving awareness and prevention, including one that Foremost sponsors called Project Save Our Children, (future blogs to come). Even though these organizations are diligently working to educate teens about the dangers of drunk driving, it is also up to parents, guardians and peers to lead by example.
Alcohol seems to be the drug of choice among youth. Why? It’s relatively inexpensive and readily available. Regardless of the reason, a teen that drinks often drives while under the influence. Here are some tips that parents and guardians can use to lead by example:
- Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking. If you have adolescences, you’ll be giving them a good example of what to do when they grow older.
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
- If your teen is planning to attend college, check out the campus drinking culture. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nothing affects health, safety, and academic performance more than a culture of excessive drinking.
- Explain to your teen the importance of a designated driver. Appointing a “DD” (one member of a group agrees to drive and remain sober for the night) has helped save countless lives.
What should you do if you suspect a teen has a drinking problem and still gets behind the wheel? Intervention is a serious undertaking that should be entered into carefully. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has some helpful steps to create a successful intervention.
Stay safe on the road and in your automobile. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind on the road, contact a Foremost agency to talk about a auto insurance policy.