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MADD Efforts Paying Off — Much Work Left to be Done to Combat Teen Drunk Driving Accidents

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports the number of teens who are consuming alcohol is on the decline. A new survey indicates that more than 75 percent of teenagers do not drink alcohol. But how true are these results?
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Do we really expect underage high school students to openly admit to consuming alcohol? It’s illegal after all. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 1,000 16- to 20-year-olds who were involved in fatal drunk driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2011. That’s a lot if “75 percent” of teenagers aren’t drinking alcohol.

Our Fort Myers drunk driving injury lawyers understand that the state of Florida saw close to 1,000 alcohol-related car accident fatalities in 2011. Don’t let improving statistics lull you and your family into a false sense of security. Our teens are out there and too many are consuming alcohol. The fact is that a large number of teens are killed in drunk driving car accidents each and every year.

Did you know that every 22 minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident? On any given weekend evening, one in 10 drivers on America’s roads has been drinking. Car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for teens across the nation. The crash risk is high during the first year teens drive because they’re newbies behind the wheel. Without years of driving practice, teens are more likely to mess up. When you add alcohol into the mix, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

But there is way to help to eliminate these accidents.

Talking to teenagers about the impacts drunk driving can have on their life can be a touchy subject. It’s a topic that some parents don’t want to discuss because they like to think that their child would never drink and drive.

Talk about family expectations and rules about alcohol use. Clearly state and enforce the consequences for breaking the rules. Help them find ways to have fun without alcohol.

Do not give alcohol to your teens. Tell them that any alcohol in your home is off limits to them and their friends.

Teens admit getting alcohol is easy — and the easiest place to get it is at home. The second easiest place is their friends’ homes. So, lock up your liquor supply. Count those liquor bottles. And admonish older siblings to not be the supplier.

Talk about the consequences of drunk driving. You may get your license revoked. It could show up on your record when you are applying for a job. You could hurt someone else.

The teen brain focuses on what’s happening right now. When a teen thinks ahead, it usually means he or she is wondering about what to do this weekend, not next year. That’s why your son or daughter isn’t terribly concerned about the future. This puts teens at a disadvantage when they face choices about risky behaviors that can have long-term consequences, such as drinking.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Keeping Teen Drivers Alive with “5 to Drive”, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 6, 2013
Car Accident Risks Skyrocket in Southwest Florida as Tourist Season Begins, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 31, 2013