Graduation season is here! For teens and young adults alike, this is the first taste of freedom. Many will spend the weekends partying with their friends, trying to adjust to a world where they can finally make their own decisions.
For some, however, the decision will be whether to get behind the wheel of a car after a night of drinking. More than 2000 teen drivers died in car crashes in 2016, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those crashes, alcohol was a factor in 20% of them.
Add this to the other dangers – distracted driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, other excited and less responsible drivers on the road – and a celebration of freedom can end very badly indeed.
Parental strategies for keeping kids safe
There are a number of schools, religious congregations and programs which host post-graduation parties, designed to keep kids from drinking and driving. But if your teenager insists on going out, there are a few things you should discuss with him or her first:
- Discuss the dangers of drunk driving – that they or their friends could die or suffer traumatic brain injuries or other serious injuries. Avoid lecturing, which is likely to set your child’s teeth on edge. Instead, make sure your child knows it’s okay to call home for help, or offer to pay for an Uber.
- Find out the schedule of events so you know where your teenager son or daughter is at all times.
- Encourage your child to call or text if they are pressured to drink or to get into a car with someone they think is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Encourage your child to speak with their friends about the dangers of drunk driving.
- Show them the NHTSA SaferRide mobile app, which they can use in an emergency.
- Explain that peer pressure doesn’t mean your child has to go along with the crowd. It’s a sign of maturity to say no.
If your child was injured in a drunk driving-related crash, Taylor Jones Taylor can help. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who know what it takes to build a successful case. If your child was charged with drunk driving, we can assist with that, too. To schedule a free initial consultation at our office, please call 662.253.5193 or fill out our contact form. We proudly represent clients in Southaven, Olive Branch, Hernando and the surrounding areas.