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How Life Can Turn on a Dime

This video made our heart drop. As it so adeptly illustrates: a few drinks might just be innocent fun for you and your friends, but the second you get behind the wheel of a car, everything changes. Drinking impairs your ability to react quickly, and dulls all of your senses. The sad reality is that it doesn’t take more than a split second of compromised concentration to create a tragic disaster and lost lives.

Although drinking and driving incidences have decreased dramatically over the past ten years, people still commit this crime every day, and people die from it every day… many more than should.

According to research in 2013, 28 people in America die every day due to drunk driving crashes. Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. These startling statistics shed light on this still too common problem, and you should be aware of the consequences of drunk driving and how it can affect your life.

A good time to start learning about the effects of drinking and driving is as soon as you start learning to drive. If you have teen at home learning to drive, talk with them about safe driving habits, and have specific rules in place for him or her when he or she begins driving.

Although the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980, people still die from it each day, which is unacceptable. Even though it’s more difficult for teenagers to get alcohol since they are underage, they can still go to parties where alcohol is served, and get behind the wheel to come home. To prevent this from happening, you can have strict rules for them regarding drinking and driving, and even buy a car for them with a built-in Breathalyzer so they can’t start the car if their blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.

Since the average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour, stress this to your teen and remind him or her to drink water and eat while they consume alcohol. This will help absorb some of the alcohol, thereby lessening the effects of it on your teen. Car crashes are the number one killer among teenagers, most of the time due to inexperience, but some of these occur because the driver was drunk. Remind your teenager that drunk driving affects real people every single day, and that the families of the victims must bury their own children or parents due to the irresponsibility and negligence of another. Take him or her to presentations where a crashed car is present so that he or she can get an idea of just how deadly drunk driving can be. With so many resources about drunk driving today, your teen should be fully aware of the impacts by the time he or she reaches driving age. He or she should have clear driving rules drilled into his or her head so that you both can agree on expectations and communicate clearly about them.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 51 minutes – and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes.” Your teen could very well be involved in a drunk driving accident, but you can help prevent it by establishing graduated driving laws for them to follow. Don’t let them drive at night for the first six to twelve months after they get their license. This eliminates possible parties they might go to, which could have alcohol. After they show responsibility, let them go out at night once or twice a week, but have a curfew for them to meet. Let them know what you expect prior to them leaving the house, and talk to them frequently about drunk driving accidents and how serious they can be. Always communicate with your teen, but let them have some breathing room also. This shows you trust them, but that you still have expectations and care about their safety, as well as the safety of others on the road.

Don’t let your teen be another statistic; teach them safe driving habits and make sure you set a good example for them.

While insurance will never prevent a drunk driving accident, sufficient coverage can help pay for the financial damages a drunk driving accident may cause. This is just one reason uninsured motorist insurance is always highly recommended.

video source:
Andy De Castell (May 13, 2009) – “DOE Drink Driving Road Safety Ad”