What to Tell Your College Student About Drunk DrivingSeptember 4, 2019
If you have a college-aged child, you’re probably worried about their grades, their tuition fees, and their safety—especially if they go to school far from home. You may feel like you’re helpless to keep them safe, but one of the biggest risks that college students face can be reduced with parental involvement.
That risk is drunk driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that impaired driving impacts young people more than any other age group, and nearly 10,500 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2016 alone. That accounts for almost 30% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. that year.
3 Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Child’s Risks
Even if you think your child doesn’t listen to you, studies show that positive reinforcement from parents can help reduce dangerous behaviors in children, regardless of their age. Remaining consistent and persistent with these safety-oriented steps can help your child stay safe during this important stage in their life:
- Emphasize the consequences of drunk driving—Your child may be aware of the potential risks of a drunk-driving crash, but they may not know about the severity of a DUI. Getting arrested for impaired driving means expensive fines, jail time, a suspended license, and even academic consequences such as loss of scholarship or dismissal from school.
- Talk about other ways to get home—Appointing a designated driver, using ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, calling a cab, using public transportation, or even calling you or your spouse are all safe and reliable ways to get home after drinking. Make sure your child knows their options.
- Be responsible with alcohol—Set a good example for your child by never driving while intoxicated. In addition, avoid serving alcohol to your child and their friends if they’re under 21 or they’re planning on driving. Finally, keep alcohol in your home locked up and inaccessible.
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