Impaired driving won’t be an issue for you. Your parents have talked to you about how dangerous it is, and you promised them not to do it. Plus, you don’t want it to hurt your opportunities with sports, extra-curricular activities and being able to drive to work to earn some extra cash.
You know it’s just not worth it. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to have a drink or two at the party this weekend. Will you do it? And will you get behind the wheel afterward?
Impaired Driving and Teens: The Facts
Teen drivers are responsible for 17% of fatal alcohol-related crashes. This means over 2,000 teens drinking and driving die behind the wheel, and alcohol is a factor in a third of all teen auto fatalities.
Why is this?
Well, one of the reasons is that teens are more apt to “binge drink” than other age groups. I’m sure you’ve heard about binge drinking – consuming heavy amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. Even though you know the consequences, you are curious to try it, you think it will make you feel older and you think it will make you feel good.
Trust us when we say it’s just not worth it. As a teen, you have a tendency to feel invincible like nothing bad will happen. But drugs and alcohol can lead to difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, mood changes, and other problems that affect your ability to drive.
Simply put, you’re not going to make good decisions. And when you’re a brand new driver and haven’t been in any type of motor vehicle crash before, it’s easier to think that car crashes only happen to other drivers.
How to Resist Peer Pressure
Any type of impaired driving puts you more at risk for a deadly accident. It can be difficult to say no to your friends when you’re out having fun. But it’s vital to say no not only for your own safety, but for the safety of innocent people out on the roads.
Here are a few ways to resist peer pressure to drink or do drugs and then get behind the wheel of your car:
- Offer to be the DD. If you offer to be the designated driver for your friends, they’ll be less likely to try to pressure you into drinking or doing drugs. They’ll also appreciate the fact that you’ll get them home, safe and sound.
- Keep a bottle of water in your hands at the party. If you’ve already got something to drink, when someone offers you alcohol you can let them know you’re already taken care of.
- Say you have an early morning ahead. Use plans the next day as an excuse to not drink. You can say you’ve got a big weekend of studying or a full day of work.
- Blame your parents. Of course, you can always use your parents as an excuse. Tell friends they’ll be checking up on you when you get home, and you don’t want to risk losing your driving privileges by coming home impaired.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, so there’s no time like the present to learn how to resist that peer pressure to drink and drive. DriveTeam offers an impaired driving course as part of our teen driving classes, helping you learn how to be a responsible, safe driver throughout the year.
Leave us a comment below or tweet us @DriveTeamInc to let us know how you plan to avoid driving while impaired.