Is your teen ready to take control of the wheels? Does your teen often head out with friends in a car? Are you worried she might end up being reckless and fall prey to drinking and driving?
If you are a worried parent too, you are not alone. Most parents of teen children often worry about their safety and security. Read our post to know why do teens drink and drive, how teen drunk driving affects and what you can do about it.
Teen Drinking And Driving: What The Statistics Say
Teens have always been on the radar for unsafe driving, especially for drinking and driving. Drinking under age is already a major concern, and coupled with driving, it can be one of the biggest fears that parents of teens have.
With flaws in rules being common, a teen as young as 15 can easily obtain a driving license that allows them to sit behind the wheels in a ‘legal’ way. Even though the legal age to obtain drinks is 21, there are many flaws in the system through which teens can get their hand
- In the US, 10 percent of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, and cause 17 percent of the total drunk driving fatalities.
- Each year, almost 2,000 teens fall prey to fatal car crashes in which they were themselves driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol causes at least a third of these incidents.
- Teenage drinkers almost always end up binge drinking. As per statistics, the levels of alcohol in teens that drive are almost five times the permissible level.
- Teens that drink and drive are more careless and do not wear seatbelts. Statistics reveal that 74 percent teen drivers involved in fatal accidents did not wear a seatbelt.
- Teen drivers warrant a No Tolerance policy. It means they can’t have any alcohol in their bloodstream if caught driving.
- Teens caught driving, especially under the influence of alcohol, risk a one-year license suspension, along with hefty fines to discourage the habit.
- Depending on what the particular law of the given area states, your teen may need to spend time in jail if caught driving while drunk.
- Almost 1 in 10 teens regularly drink and drive.
- Teenage drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.8% have a 17 times higher risk of a car crash.
- Most high school students around the age of 16 admit to drinking and driving.
[ Read: Teens Texting While Driving ]
Steps To Limit Teenage Drinking And Driving:
According to research, there are certain factors that can lower the risks involved with teens that drink and drive:
- It is important to increase awareness among teens about the dangers of mixing drinking and driving.
- As a parent, you should discuss the negative impact of drunk driving with your teen. Make sure you point out real examples from news stories or real accidents you may know.
- Your teen will follow your example, so make sure you set the right one. Don’t drive after you’ve had a drink, even if it’s the occasional glass of wine.
- Tell your teen that it is not safe to be in a car that is being driven by a drunken friend. Your teen is at equal risk driven by someone who is drunk.
- Try out different techniques that will make it easier to have safe driving practices for your teen.
- Give your teen the confidence to call you after a session of drinks. Tell them that you will always come and pick them up but that they should not drive after drinking.
- If your teen obtains a new license, make sure you travel with them for the first few weeks.
- Show your teen how drinking can hamper driving instincts. Let her have a few glasses of wine in your presence. Next, draw a chalk line on the floor and ask them to walk a straight line. Your teen will see for herself how drinking can distort vision and judgment. 
[ Read: Tips To Communicate Better With Teens ]