One major concern about raising teenagers is the possibility of them drunk driving. Even if you have well-behaved children who do well in school, you never know when they can get into trouble. The risk of them getting hurt, hurting other people or ending up in jail because of a poor decision can wrack your mind as a parent.
An effective way to stop your teen from partaking in this dangerous behavior is by having open and honest discussions about it. Here are some suggestions for bringing up the topic of drunk driving with your teens.
Frame it in love and support
As you likely already know, teens can be rebellious and resistant to authority. If you talk to them about drunk driving in a condescending or judgmental tone, they are more likely to brush off what you have to say. But if you demonstrate you care about them, the conversation matters more. Let them know you bring up the issue because you love them and want them to be safe.
Talk about facts and statistics
There are plenty of eye-opening facts about driving under the influence. Here are some details from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- Approximately 800 people get hurt in drunk-driving collisions every day.
- 29 people die from DUI accidents every day.
- Approximately one-quarter of teen car accidents involve an underage drunk motorist.
Educating your children about the realities of drunk driving lets them know it is a serious problem.
Help them create an exit plan
It can be difficult for your teenagers to know what to do if a friend, family member or acquaintance is under the influence and offers them a ride. Explain to them that they have the right to say no. You can suggest other actions, such as calling you for a ride, using a rideshare app or calling a taxi.