Teaching Your Kids the Dangers of Drinking and Driving


By Karleia Steiner


It’s one of the things every parent must face: the reality that many teens drink and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA), on average a teenager dies every hour from a car crash in the United States. Nearly 50% of those accidents involve drinking. If you’re a parent, you’re probably wondering how to best prepare your child so they will make responsible choices. The first step is to start early.




Begin the Conversation

Most parents are reluctant to start the conversation about drinking and driving too soon. But remember, most of the information that you give your child about the dangers of drinking and driving should occur naturally. When they talk about friends or they see something about drinking and driving on television or the news, raise the issue. Bring it up as though it is a fact of life. People make mistakes that are dangerous. Remind them that, in your family, people make responsible choices. That way they know that your values regarding drinking and driving are clear.



Role Model Responsible Behavior

Your child is learning how to behave by watching you. Make certain that you drink responsibly and that you always drive sober. You can simply state this as a rule in your life: “I’m driving, so I won’t be drinking.” If you model the right choices, it’s much more likely that your children will make responsible decisions when they are older.



Role Play With Your Kids

Peer pressure is a complicated part of every teenagers life. It’s not enough to simply state your expectations. Work with them so that they can meet these goals. You might want to role play some of the situations your teen might face. If they are at a party and they have been drinking, what should they do? Who will they call? Let them know that, no matter what, day or night, you will come get them. Your first priority as a parent is your teens safety. It might be that the next day you will have a conversation about what happened, but be clear that consequences of good judgment far outweigh any possible punishment. 



Get Help

Most experts suggest that you teach your child how to drive by working with a professional. The reason for this recommendation is that a professional can make sure you teen has good foundational driving skills. This is important for any new driver. In addition, they will educate your child about the dangers of drinking and driving. Find a school that has a good reputation and enjoys working with teens. A driving school like North Shore Driving School Ltd.  teaches young adults to drive and work with teens specifically on driver safety issues.



It’s Your Child’s Life

Teaching your child how to make responsible choices about driving is one of the hardest jobs a parent can undertake. But remember, what you say and what you do could just save their life.



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