Parents Right to Worry About Teen Drivers in End-of-Year Celebrations
Posted on May 22nd, 2018 by Zane Cagle
Drunk Driving Crashes Increase During Prom and Graduation Season
Parents have due cause to worry about their teen drivers during end-of-year celebrations such as prom and graduation. Driving and drinking never go well together and teens are inexperienced at both. However, it should be noted that no one drinks and drives well at any age.
While your teen may be a very responsible and capable driver, you cannot control of impact other drivers who may make the decision to drink and drive. The number of drunk driving motor vehicle crashes increases in the spring specifically during peak celebration times.
There is Good News and Bad News
Overall teen drunk driving nationwide is down since 1991 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The bad news is that car crashes are the number cause of death for teens and about one-third of those crashes are alcohol-related, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. During prom and graduation season, it is the teen driver who ultimately has to make their own safety decision. However, this is not very comforting to most parents.
We Need to Share the Message Every Year
Every year we need to remind teen drivers and all drivers for that matter that drinking and driving do not mix. Spring is also the beginning of many holiday weekends including many celebrations involving alcohol. Simply not talking to your teen about alcohol and driving since they are underage is just irresponsible. Parents cannot assume that alcohol is off the conversation list when they have a teen. While underage drinking may be forbidden in your family among underage family members, parents have to have the conversation as alcohol is often present at end-of-year gatherings including after-party’s. So, whether you are addressing other teen drinking or your own teen’s possibility for drinking, discussing driving safety and development of a plan is crucial.
Discussing Options with Your Teen–It’s a Tough Situation
While we never attempt to tell anyone how to parent, we do see statistics and honestly, we talk to way more victims of drunk driving than we ever should. The number of people who are permanently injured or the families who no longer have their loved one due to a drunk driver is appalling in this modern day of drunk driving awareness.
Teens need to know they have a back-up plan if they discover their driver has been drinking. Staying quiet or just “going along” so that they don’t get anyone in trouble can cost lives. It is hard for adults to speak up, so we need to be clear to teens that it is critical that they speak up and refuse to ride with someone who has been consuming alcohol.
Drunk Driving is Completely Preventable
Mothers Against Drunk Driving continue to urge everyone to designate a non-drinking driver, not matter your age as Drunk Driving is completely preventable. If you’ve watched television or listened to a radio in the last 20 years, you’ve heard a dangerous drunk driving PSA (public service announcement). And, I’m pretty sure all of us have watched television or listed to the radio since MADD was started in 1980. Plus, every road safety organization in the US promotes the same message-don’t drink and drive.
If You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Incident
If you’ve been injured, you will need legal representation. Frankly, the sooner you talk with an attorney, the better. We can immediately let you know the things you absolutely should NOT do and things you should. Obviously, seeking medical treatment is your number one goal and seeking advice from one of our attorneys should soon follow.