Holidays can be a scary time for parents with teenage children. Of course, there will be holiday functions, not to mention winter dances at high school and the various other activities that are planned on the weekend. As a parent, how will you keep alcohol out of the mix?
Winter break also means kids are out of school for a few weeks, with nothing to do, and no early mornings. Essentially, every day is the weekend. This can mean later nights, more plans and less chance of a parent keeping tabs on their every move.
Most traffic deaths happen during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The accidents are most likely to occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Many of these fatal accidents involve 15 to 20 years old and are alcohol related. In fact, teenagers are responsible for the highest amount of drunk driving accidents.
It is your responsibility as a parent to prevent any accidents. This is the time to remind your children of the risks of underage drinking and the consequences of this deadly behavior.
In order to ensure safety, parents should lay down ground rules. If you feel more comfortable with your children’s friends being at your house, create an environment that they will want to come to. Get a movie, pizza and fun activities; create plans for them essentially.
The most important thing you can do is to have ongoing conversations about drunk driving and underage drinking. In fact, have a conversation about it every week this time of the year. By having regular family conversations about alcohol, parents can reduce underage drinking by 30 to 60 percent.
Drunk Driving Accident StatisticsIn Washington State, 54% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involve a driver that was under the influence of alcohol. In 2009 265 people in Washington State lost their lives in drunk driving crashes. In Washingon State there is a sharp increase in the number of drunk driving incidents near major holidays.
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 16,694 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the United States in 2004. This figure represents 39% of all traffic incident deaths. In fact, more than 500,000 Americans are injured annually in drunken driving crashes.