Teens and Drunk Driving: How to Prevent It

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 25, 
2020 
| 4 Sources


Prevention


As adults we all know the consequences of drunk driving, teens, however, need to be to informed of the dangers

Teenage and drunk driving are valid concerns of everyone. Alcohol-related traffic mortalities make up nearly 37 percent of all fatal underage traffic fatalities. Every year, an estimated 5,000 individuals below 21 years old die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

Throughout the United States consuming alcohol is against the law for people under 21 years old. The drinking age, nonetheless, had not stopped anyone under 21 from defying the law and drinking, nor has it prevented them from driving while under the influence of alcohol. This is why experts believe that teen drivers are four times more likely to figure in car crashes than adult drivers. 

Teens and drunk driving is a problem that should not concern just parents and educators (though the role they play is essential) but also society at large.


Factors Contributing to Teen Drinking and Driving

  • Insufficient Experience – Suffice it to say, teen drivers have less logged hours than their adult counterparts, and this translates to higher probability of the former getting involved in accidents on the road. For instance, teenage drinking and driving is believed to be the result of poor judgment by young drivers, and the situation is exacerbated by their inability to respond appropriately in critical driving conditions or situations.
  • Hazardous Driving Behavior and Habits – Teenagers have this innate sense of independence and feeling of invincibility when they finally get themselves behind the wheel. This mental and emotional state, while considered to be an essential element of their character development, may also lead to teenage drinking and driving.
  • Peer pressure – Young drivers who easily succumb to peer pressure are more likely to figure in car crashes. Teens love to live a life on the edge and would make risky decisions like drinking and driving when they are with their peer group.


Are you a teenager worried about your drinking? Take our adolescent alcoholism test to discover if you need help.

Are you a parent who wants to know if their child is abusing alcohol? Read signs of adolescent alcoholism.



Tips for Preventing Teenage Drinking and Driving

Parents and educators who are concerned (or employed to be concerned) with teens and drunk driving need to focus on two major actions points:

  1. Teen Education And Experience.

    Parents and those working with children need to inculcate among teenagers the proper mindset and attitude before they are allowed to drive a car.

    Teenagers must understand that driving is a special privilege and that it comes with it serious responsibilities. You must remember that the learning process goes beyond the basic driving skill set.

    This means that teenagers need to go through their driving experience with the supervision of a responsible driver. They need to learn how to handle critical scenarios, and this will include proper understanding of the implications of teenage drinking and driving.

    Safe driving habits should always be a part of the learning experience of teenage drivers. You have to emphasize the repercussions and implications of various driving situations including drunk driving. Your intention is not really to sow fear in their hearts but to make them aware of what the mixture of teens and drunk driving can do to them and others.

  2. Boundaries

    Parents and educators must also set the boundaries as far as the driving options of teens are concerned. Consider methods like parent-teen driving deals to set and enforce the “road rules” for new drivers.

    Put some restraints on teenage driving by enforcing driving curfews for them. This is normally done by limiting the times where teenagers are allowed to drive at night.

    You may also require them to come home earlier during weekdays than on a weekend or set a cap on the total number of driving hours per week.

    Finally, you should also encourage teenagers to get involved in activities or groups that promote safe and responsible teenage driving.



teen alcohol and drug abuse

Our FREE E-book The Parents Guide to Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Prevention is aimed at those parents who wish to stay abreast of their children's alcohol and drug use. The guide shows you how to spot the signs of substance abuse and what to do if you suspect your child is abusing alcohol and/or drugs. Catching teen drug and alcohol abuse early, can save a lot of heartache later. Your teenager may not thank you now, but a few years down the road they'll be truly grateful you intervened and saved them from a young life of addiction.




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Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


Hello!

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More



Sources: 

Elite Driving School. Teen Driver Statistics On Car Accidents and Drunk Driving. https://drivingschool.net/teen-driver-statistics-on-car-accidents-and-drunk-driving/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Drinking and Driving. October 2012. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teendrinkinganddriving/index.html

NCBI. Consequences of Underage Drinking. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK37591/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Underage Drinking. January 2006. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm


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