Talking to your teenager about some topics can be difficult. However, underage drinking is a topic that you need to discuss often. Teenagers are under intense pressure to “fit in” with their peers. This pressure could lead to underage drinking, which could lead to driving under the influence.
Even though you think your teenager is not listening, he or she hears what you say. Therefore, tell your teenager repeatedly about the dangers of underage drinking.
Tips for Talking to a Teen Driver About Underage Drinking and Driving
Use a Non-Judgmental Tone
When you are discussing underage drinking and drunk driving with your teen driver, try to keep your tone relaxed. If your teenager senses any judgment, he or she may shut down. Teens do not typically respond well to “lectures” from anyone, especially their parents. Therefore, if you can steer the conversation in a direction that does not put your teen on the defensive, you may have much more success in getting your teen to think seriously about the criminal and civil consequences of underage drinking and driving.
Use Facts Wisely to Discuss Negative Consequences
Again, a teenager views facts and figures as a school class. Therefore, use facts wisely by using them to demonstrate how underage drinking can lead to alcoholism and other health issues. You can also discuss how underage drinking can prevent your teen from receiving college scholarships that can lead to a degree and great career.
Discuss Peer Pressure and Not Drinking
Focus more on your child’s future goals and how underage drinking and driving can interfere with those goals. In addition, you can discuss how peer pressure can be very difficult to withstand without a plan. Peer pressure is a bit easier to withstand when your teenager has thought about responses in advance and ways to remove himself or herself from the situation.
Set Clear Rules
Underage drinking is illegal. Drunk driving is illegal. Begin the discussion about your family’s rules as if you are speaking with another adult. Statements such as “I trust you to use good judgment when it comes to underage drinking and driving. However, I need you to also understand our rules and the consequences for breaking those rules.”
Drunk Driving Accidents in New Orleans
Drunk driving accidents take the lives of thousands of people each year. During 2016, about 28 percent of the people killed in traffic accidents (10,497) were in accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Thousands of people are killed each year in DUI accidents in the United States. It is crucial that your teenage driver understands the dangers of drunk driving. Resources you may want to utilize include:
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Centers for Disease Control
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
If your teenage driver is involved in a car accident, don’t let the insurance company automatically blame your child. Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.