Statistics show that while most teenagers understand the dangers of drinking and driving, an alarming number of teens still choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to one 2011 study, one in four teens stated they would ride with a driver who was under the influence of prescription drugs or marijuana.
Simply telling your teens about the dangers of drinking and driving may not be enough. But experts say there are ways to get the message across. If you want your teen to avoid becoming involved in a DUI crash in Homestead or your community, consider:
1) Making an agreement.
Talk to your teen and outline your expectations for avoiding drunk driving. Be sure to include drugged driving and define what you consider unacceptable driving behavior. Work with your teen to develop an agreement you both sign, both promising to avoid driving under the influence. Your teen may be more likely to follow through if they understand the rules, have had a chance in creating them, and know you are bound by them as well.
2) Making it personal.
If you know someone who has been affected by drunk driving or a car accident, consider having them talk to your teen. Teens sometimes think accidents happen to other people. They may be more likely to take warnings seriously if they come from someone who has lived through a serious event. Talking to someone can also give your teens a chance to ask questions they may feel awkward asking you.
3) Talking it over often.
Having a talk about drugged driving or drunk driving once is not enough. A teen’s life changes rapidly. Bring up drunk driving often and review what your teen can do if they find themselves in a difficult situation.
4) Earning trust.
Many parents promise their teens they will pick them up in a dangerous situation with “no questions asked.” Unfortunately, some parents do ask and do punish their teens for drinking or being at a party where drugs or alcohol are served. Parents who do this make it harder for teens to call for a safe ride home. If you extend a “no questions asked” promise of a sober ride home when your teen needs it, discuss the incident the next day and discuss what should happen next. However, realizing that pressing for answers and punishing your child can affect their future decisions when faced with the same danger.
5) Keeping alcohol away.
Alcohol is very easy for teens to get. Make it a little harder for them to drink at home by locking up the alcohol in your own home. Hide the keys.
6) Offering several alternatives.
Your teens should have more options than you when they need a sober ride home. Have an agreement with friends and family so your child can phone them. Give your child emergency money and a list of taxi companies. For big events such as prom, consider hiring a limo or professional driver so you can guarantee a sober ride home.
Create a code your phone can use to text you or when calling if they need your help but are worried about what friends may say. For example, your teens may text their birthday to you or say “I think I’m having a problem with my allergies” when they want to get out of a situation gracefully. Remind them of the code often.
If your teen or you are injured by a drunk driver in Homestead or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our attorneys are deeply committed to helping those who have been injured and our law firm would be pleased to offer you a free, no obligation consultation.