The 2019 holiday season is now in full swing. It is a time to enjoy family, friends or even co-workers at a year-end work party. Parents with teen drivers in the house are generally clear about the dangers of drinking and driving. Nevertheless, the holiday season can be especially risky for high school kids on break or college kids home visiting. It is best to remind them yet again about being careful. But there are some additional facts you can share with them.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a fact sheet on 2017 (this is the most recent data):
- 885 people died in alcohol-related car crashes in December here in the United States.
- New Year’s Eve and the Christmas holiday saw more drunk driving fatalities (267) than any other holiday period.
- One-third of all traffic fatalities (for a total of 10,874) involved drunk drivers over the blood alcohol content of .08.
- Drug-impaired driving is on the rise, thanks to the opioid epidemic.
Parents should remind young drivers that the priority is getting home safely. The rule should be no judgment if they call asking for someone to come and get them if they are too drunk to drive, nor should they be punished for using an app-based ride service. Whatever the circumstances, they followed a wrong decision (drinking when they were driving) with the right one (not driving).
Not everyone uses their head
The second part of that speech is to remind them to drive defensively because there is a much higher chance that the driver in the next car may be over .08. Even careful driving may not be enough, leading them to become seriously injured by a negligent driver. The priority is to care for the loved one, but parents are well within their rights to file a suit with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.