According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives, and the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that over 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes. That said, the dangers related to impaired driving can lead to severe injuries or death. Accordingly, we must arm our teens and young adults with helpful information that will keep them safe at all times -- especially when no adults are around to remind them.
While we understand that there are times when people make the conscious decision to get behind the wheel after having one too many drinks, it is not something to be taken lightly with teen drivers. There are often occurrences of drunk driving accidents involving teens who decide to ride in a vehicle with a fellow teen driver who has been drinking. If you’re the parent of a teen who was hit by an adult drunk driver or was in the car with a driver who was involved in a drunk driving crash, you are encouraged to contact a Fort Myers DUI accident attorney who can help you navigate the resulting personal injury or wrongful death case.
So, what can you do to help keep your teen safe? Communication and education are critical if you want them to avoid serious issues on the road. We know we can’t control the actions of other adults or teens; however, below, we offer some tips regarding how you might prevent your teen from riding in the car with someone who is drunk.
Be Realistic and Compassionate
Teenagers may hang out with friends who have their own vehicles (or access to their parents’ vehicles), and it’s important that they feel like they can talk to their parents no matter the situation. Accordingly, you should encourage an open and honest relationship with your teen by first coming to terms with the fact that teenagers will likely be in situations where alcohol is available, and their friends may choose to try a little bit. You ultimately want to avoid having them get into the car with their friend after he or she has been drinking any amount of alcohol. The best way to do that is to ensure that they understand the risks associated with riding with someone who is intoxicated -- risks that endanger their own lives and the lives of others on the road.
Also, keep in mind that your responsible teen driver may find themselves on the road with drunk drivers. That said, it is essential to inform your teens of how they can avoid getting into a collision with a driver who may be intoxicated. Remind them of the signs to watch for while driving, such as cars swerving in and out of the lane in front of them. They should always buckle up and maintain a safe distance from vehicles, whether they are swerving or not.
Foster Respect and Open Communication
One tactic that usually works for some parents is to let the child know that they are there for them if they find themselves in a situation where they have to ride with someone who may be intoxicated. Letting them know that they can always call you to pick them up ensures them that it is safe to consider you as a parent and an ally. Be sure to reiterate to your teen that under no circumstance should they ever get in a vehicle with anyone who has been drinking.
Has Your Teen Been Hurt in a DUI-Related Crash? Contact a Fort Myers DUI Accident Lawyer After an Accident
With drunk driving accidents being common in southwest Florida, it is important to work with an attorney you can trust after an accident occurs and you or a family member are injured.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, it is important To discuss your rights and options under the law and speak with Fort Myers DUI Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. as soon as possible. Contact us online for a free initial consultation.
Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839 or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit Spivey Law.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.
Contact us online for a free initial consultation.