25% of car crashes involving teens are caused by alcohol
Motor vehicle crashes kill seven young people everyday. It’s also the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. About a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver, according to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Fortunately, motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
However, the ease at which teens obtain alcohol can lead to their untimely deaths.
According to the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), nearly 40 percent of Tennessee high school students said they were given the alcohol they consumed, and seven percent said they drove after drinking.
While alcohol can cause long-term damage in the form of liver cancer, it also increases the risk of teens meeting an untimely death by consuming alcohol and then deciding to drive. Not to mention, it’s also illegal.
Here are some recommendations from MADD to prevent someone from drinking and driving.
- Be as non-confrontational as possible.
- Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination — a cab, a sober driver, public transportation.
- Remember that the person you are talking to is impaired — talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
- Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
- Suggest that they sleep over.
- Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support — it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people than one.
- If possible, get the person’s keys. It is far easier to persuade the potential driver when you hold this leverage.
- If all else fails, call law enforcement. It’s better to have a friend arrested than injured or killed.
But, the number one way to prevent an untimely death from impaired driving is to not do it at all. Instead of drinking find an alternative way to have fun.
Do this instead:
- Make a pizza from scratch
- Watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead
- Browse iTunes
- Watch funny cat videos on YouTube
- Waste time on Reddit
- Call that grandparent that tells you that you “never call”
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it doesn’t involve drinking.
Or, flying a kite.
Who does that anyway? Charlie Brown? He was always getting that kite stuck in a tree. Oh man. What a blockhead.
Wait. Are you even old enough to get that reference? You know, Snoopy and the gang!
Anyway, if you’re still reading this, “Congrats!” Now, get to making that pizza! We’re hungry!