Summer Means More Teen Drinking
As Alice Cooper once sang, school’s out for summer. This means young people everywhere are hitting the roads instead of the books. Unfortunately, summer is a peak time for underage drinking, which can lead to car accidents.
Parents sometimes struggle to find ways to get through to their teens about the dangers of drinking and driving.
As Boca Raton car accident lawyers, we want to do everything we can to help parents teach their kids about being safe behind the wheel, which is why we gathered some stats and tips about curbing teen drinking and driving.
Startling Facts about Teen Drinking
Teen drinking has many consequences, from a higher risk of teen car accidents to long-term health problems.
- Binge drinking is a major problem: More than 90 percent of alcohol consumption by people between the ages of 12 and 20 takes place in the form of binge drinking.
- Teen drinking is expensive: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinkers cost the U.S. economy $24 billion in 2010.
- Lowering the drinking age led to more car accidents: Throughout the 1970s, many states lowered their legal drinking age to 18. By 1988, all 50 states had raised the drinking age to 21 after a big increase in drinking-related traffic fatalities among teen drivers.
- Teen drinkers are more likely to use drugs: By the end of the summer, 940,000 teenagers will have consumed alcohol for the first time. These teens are 24 percent more likely than non-drinkers to use illegal drugs.
- Underage drinking is strongly linked to future alcohol dependence: People who abuse alcohol from an early age are more likely to suffer alcoholism later in life. One study showed that individuals who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become dependent on alcohol compared to people who begin drinking after they turn 21.
- More than 1,000 teens die in drinking and driving crashes each year: Despite warnings, teenagers continue to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The Federal Trade Commission says about 1,155 people under 21 die in drinking-related traffic accidents every year.
As a parent or caregiver, you want to do everything you can to educate the young person in your life about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Also Read : Driving Too Soon: Teen Driving in Florida
Here are some tips from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to help you talk to your teen about staying safe this summer.
- Talk about it now, not later: Be proactive about discussing drunk driving with your teen. Don’t wait until you catch your teenager drinking.
- Explain the consequences of drunk driving: Make sure your child understands your expectations when it comes to drinking. If your child breaks the rules, enforce the punishment.
- Have family time: Teenagers are often busy with friends, activities, and work, but it’s important to make time for family. This gives parents a chance to stay on top of their child’s actions outside the house, which gives them an opportunity to prevent poor decisions before they happen.
It’s also important for parents to model responsible behavior. Children and teenagers look to their parents as role models of appropriate conduct.
If your teen sees you drive after consuming alcohol, this can send a message that drinking and driving is okay.
Have You Been Injured by a Drunk Driver?
The summer is a great time to gather with family and friends. Unfortunately, gatherings can turn tragic due to a drunk driver’s carelessness.
For help after a drunk driving-related injury, get in touch with a Boca Raton car accident lawyer as soon as possible.