In light of the long weekend that just passed in Canada, I felt that it would be great to dive deep into impaired driving. What is impaired driving? Impaired driving is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The effect of drugs and alcohol while operating a motorized vehicle can lead to very serious consequences. It is important that your teen understands the risks associated with driving impaired and understands how it can be avoided.
Although the number of teens that drink and drive have decreased since the 1990’s, it is clear (from the statistics above) that driving impaired is still a pressing issue. So, what can be done? You can be the first step in helping to ensure that your teen is driving responsibly. Educate and know the signs!
The first step is educating your teen. They need to understand the consequences of impaired driving can be detrimental despite the fact that many teens feel invincible at that age. Sit down with your teen and explain to them that impaired driving can have negative effects on their life and the lives of others. It is a matter of life or death for your teen and others surrounding them!
Tips to Avoid Driving Under the Influence
Once you have educated your teen on the dangers of driving under the influence, it is important to give them the tools necessary to avoid the situation before there is a chance of it happening.
- PLAN AHEAD: Emphasize the importance of having a designated driver
- CALL A CAB OR RIDESHARE SERVICE
- CALL A FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER
- ENSURE YOUR TEEN HOLDS THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS ACCOUNTABLE
- DO NOT GET INTO A VEHICLE WITH AN IMPAIRED DRIVER (Make sure they know they can always call you to pick them up)
- CHECK MEDICATION WARNINGS PRIOR TO OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE
Many parents or guardians would rather not know that their teen is involved with alcohol or drug use but just like coaching your new driver about driver safety, open communication is the best policy. Them being able to discuss how to avoid driving impaired is the most important step in trying to make sure they don’t drive impaired!
“Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver” (CDC, 2020).
Don’t let your teen become another statistic or be the cause of the statistic.
Lead by example!
CDC. (2020). Impaired Driving. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/index.html