The NHTSA statistics reports that alcohol is involved in 50% of all fatal teen DUI car accidents. What is even more shocking is that the CDC reports that 70% of 16-year-olds have consumed alcohol. Ourcar accident lawyers feel that it is necessary for parents to educate their teens about drinking and driving.
Here are several tips along with an example to help parents address this important issue with their teens. John Knight, M.D., the founder and director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children’s Hospital Boston, provides several helpful tips and tricks for parents and teens to prevent a DUI auto accident.
First, Dr. Knight recommends what he refers to as “THE FAMILY CODE,” as a way of getting a teen out of an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. The CODE refers to a key word or phrase that teens can say to their parents as a sign that they need help or a ride home.
For example, a teen can call and say, “I forgot to walk the dog,” and the parent will know that the phrase is actually CODE for “I need help” or “I need a ride home.” This method has proven to be very effective because it not only builds trust between teens and parents, but it can also save teens from embarrassment among their peers as well.
Acting out some “what if” scenarios are also a very useful tool for parents. Most wrongful death accidents with teens tend to occur on Friday, and Saturday nights, when they are out with friends. Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of what their teens are doing, especially on the weekends, and have an excellent plan to avoid potentially bad situations.
Here is an accident prevention scenario taken from The Safe Ride Home by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon:
You go to a party with a bunch of friends. When you arrive, there’s a big crowd. You split up to mingle, agreeing to meet up later. A few hours later, you notice your ride is out on the back porch with a drink in hand. What do you do?
Several bad ideas:
1. Pretend to not notice and get in the car with him/her anyway.
2. Think, “It is only one drink, how bad can that be?”
3. Believe them when they claim that they are okay to drive.
1. Use the “FAMILY CODE.”
2. Try to find a safe ride home.
3. Ask someone else to call someone sober to come pick you up.
4. Stay there. After all, coming home late is better than getting in an accident and not coming home at all.
There are a number of variations of this example and many others that parents and teens should discuss. Our car accident lawyers strongly recommend that parents talk to their teenagers about drinking and driving over and over again, and go over possible situations that teens may find themselves in.
More than any other method, talking to teens about drinking and driving has proven to be the best method of stopping personal injuries on the road before they happen. Obviously, no parent would want their child to be injured in a teenage DUI accident, let alone hurt someone else.
Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.