Both as a parent of 9 kids and a persona injury attorney, I worry about every teen that hits the road. Car accidents are the most common way of death for the 16-24 age group. Inexperience and inattention are often the culprits in teenage car accidents, but there is another threat out there that parents choose to think won’t affect their child—alcohol. In fact, 60% of fatal teen accidents are the product of underage drinking.
Though the percentage of these incidents have decreased dramatically since the legal drinking age was changed to 21 in the 1980’s, underage drinking still contributes to a significant amount of teenage accidents and deaths. With 58% of high school seniors (ages 17 and 18) admitting to being drunk at least once and most of these having parents unaware of their drinking it is no shock that underage drinking contributes to such a high number of deaths. Luckily, studies show there is something parents can do to help prevent their child from becoming one of these horrible statistics. By simply talking to your teen and outlining your expectations the chance of them drinking underage drop significantly.
Starting the conversation can be difficult- but without clearly defining your rules and the consequences for breaking them your teen may not make the wisest decisions. This conversation would preferably start at an early age- by simply sharing your beliefs on drinking and its dangers and as the child matures you go into more depth providing facts to your teen.
The conversation doesn’t end with telling your teen not to drink and drive- 28% of teens admitted to riding in a car with a driver under the influence. You must let your teen know that if their ride has been drinking they need to call home and not get in the car. If your teen is afraid of being in trouble for being around intoxicated people they may not make the best decisions.
For more tips on starting the conversation and some material you can use to talk to your teen about the danger of drinking and driving read the article: Talking to Your Kids About Drunk Driving. This article written by Seattle personal injury lawyer Jason Epstein can help you keep your teen safe.
Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and sadly, drunk drivers are more likely to end up in an accident than to be arrested with a DUI- if you have been affected by a drunk driver contact an attorney to discuss your rights. We've got tons of information at BenGlassLaw. If you are in the Seattle area contact Jason Epstein’s Seattle car accident law firm, Premier Law Group.