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You Can Help Prevent Your Teens From Drinking and Driving
Don’t drink and drive. This is a warning we hear all of the time. Whether on billboards, advertisements, or the Internet, it seems like this is a mantra everyone can agree with. While many experienced drivers may feel that this is an old phrase they don’t need to hear again, the truth is that everyone could use a reminder. One group that is especially in need of a reminder about the responsibility that comes with driving are teenagers.
New, young, inexperienced drivers tend to be some of the most dangerous on the roads. That rebellious teenage spirit, combined with the confidence of just passing a driving test and finally being granted a license, can make for a dicey combo. So, you can imagine that alcohol will only make matters worse.
As attorneys who have seen countless drunk driving collisions involving teenagers, we can confidently say that it never gets any easier for impacted families to deal with the aftermath of such a tragic situation. However, because many of these accidents can be prevented, we’ve put together a few helpful tips for you to keep your teen safe and alcohol-free when behind the wheel.
Start The Conversation
Many parents are in denial about the possibility of their teen drinking at parties. Although the legal drinking age is 21, more than 50% of teens have had alcohol by the time they’re 18. Here’s a statistic that may shock you: 11% of alcohol consumed in the U.S. is by teenagers.
So, as a parent, it’s time to move through the denial and start the conversation with your teen. Be clear about what you expect from them, outline consequences and make sure they know your concern comes from a place of love, not from a need to be overly controlling.
Make It Official
Sure, it’s easy to say you agree with something and then claim to forget the details of the agreement later on. But, if you get your teen’s promise to not drink and drive in writing, there’s a lot less wiggle room for “forgetting.” Students Against Drunk Driving offers a free contract, or you can make your own. Once it’s signed, you can use it to remind your teen exactly what you’ve agreed upon, and hopefully encourage them to stick to their word --and their signature.
Opt For Rideshares
Uber and Lyft are not just for getting you to the airport when you don’t want to ask someone to drive you. They can be lifesaving alternatives for teens who need to get home late at night. Running in major metropolitan areas around the country, these rideshare programs can offer a convenient and safe alternative to using public transportation or getting behind the wheel if your teen has had anything to drink.
They’re also a good way to ensure that your teen never ends up in a car with someone who’s been drinking and can give you a peace of mind.
Keep Liquor Out of Reach
Believe it or not, most 12 to 14-year-olds who drink get their alcohol at home or at a friend’s house. A simple and effective way to make sure that your children and teens are not drinking is to ensure that your alcohol is out of reach. Putting a few obstacles in their way will make it less enticing and much more difficult to get ahold of.
If Your Teen Is In A Crash, We Can Help
Despite your best efforts to protect new drivers and keep them out of harm’s way, there is still the possibility that they can become involved in a drunk driving-related accident. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with the aftermath of this kind of tragic event. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Our firm is ready to hear from you. So do not hesitate to contact us.
Our Tampa car accident lawyer will set up an initial consultation, listen to your story, and help you take the next step.