Sending your child off to college is an exciting time for any family. You hope they will make good decisions, but college is synonymous with partying. How can you be sure your undergrad will stay sober behind the wheel?
Talking to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving is crucial.
Give them the facts
According to the CDC, 24% of underage drivers killed in a car accident in 2019 had been drinking. Discuss the statistics with your kids. Learning the numbers will help them grasp the sobering reality that they are not invincible.
Teach them empathy
Kids are willing to take risks involving their safety. But they may not consider how a wreck would impact others. Discuss the real-life consequences for crash victims. Survivors often deal with years of medical intervention, therapy and lost wages due to their injuries.
Come up with a safety plan
When drinking interferes with their ride home, ensure your child has a strategy to get home safely. You will undoubtedly tell them you will come to their rescue anytime they feel unsafe. But when kids drink, calling parents may scare off even the most responsible teenager. As a backup, compile a list of friends and family who could pick them up at a moment’s notice. Also, make sure they have a rideshare account set up on their phone and offer to cover the cost.
Teenagers who understand the gravity of impaired driving are more likely to listen to their conscience when a dangerous situation arises.