Factors that can increase your teen’s chances for drunk driving

teen's chances for drunk drivingHigh school is when children begin to explore the world on their own. It’s a time to feel out their boundaries and find out where they fit in the world. Unfortunately one of the ways teens test their boundaries is through underage drinking. It’s even scarier when they choose to drink and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. But what factors can increase your teen’s chances for drunk driving?

A recent survey of 2,300 junior and senior high school students revealed that 13% had driven after drinking. Parents have been found to be a major influence on whether a teen chooses to drink and drive. In a 2011 survey of 10,000 teens, it was found that parents who drink increase the chances of their own child drinking and driving at the age of 21. As well, if the teen’s friends are OK with drinking and driving, the teen is more likely to engage in drinking and driving.

The perception of negative consequences is also a factor in whether or not your teen will drink and drive. There are many people who don’t think there are negative consequences to drinking and driving, but 94% of teen’s surveyed did say that if a passenger asked them not to drink and drive, they wouldn’t get behind the wheel.

Preventing your teen from driving after drinking should start at an early age. By the time your teen is 15, you should begin to make an effort to get them to accept the consequences of drinking and driving. You can also work to:

  • Set a good example by not drinking to excess, never joking about drinking and driving, and letting your teen know that alcohol doesn’t solve problems.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and limit the time they spend with friends who drink.
  • Help your child come up with an action plan to stand up to peer pressure.