As we approach the months of March and April, students will be counting down the days to spring break! What many of these teenagers and young adults are overlooking are their risks for alcohol-related car accidents in Rock Hill and elsewhere. In 2009, about a third of all drivers between the ages of 15-and 20-years-old who were killed in a car accident had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 of higher. During the same year, about 30 percent of these teen drivers who were killed in traffic collisions had a BAC of .08 or higher. The legal BAC in the country is .08 – but that’s only for those who are over the age of 21. If you are under 21, your BAC better be 0.00. And yet, thousands of teens are killed in these types of accidents every year.
According to The Wall Street Journal, costs resulting from hospitalizations for teenagers involved in underage drinking totaled more than $750 million in 2008. These costs covered the 39,620 minors who were admitted into the hospital for alcohol-related problems. While alcohol-related car accidents are more likely to happen on the weekend and during the evening, spring break is a whole different story. Some of the highest risks for alcohol-related accidents involving these young drivers are during that week off of school.
Our Rock Hill teen car accident attorneys ask that parents talk with their teens before spring break. While these young drivers aren’t legally allowed to consume alcohol, it doesn’t mean that they won’t. Sadly enough, teens can get their hands on alcohol quite easily and many plan to binge drink over the break. As a matter of fact, the average age for underage drinkers who are hospitalized is 18. Of those who wound up in the hospital, about 60 percent were men. Don’t think your little girl is safe though, because researchers say that cultural shifts suggest that females are more frequently getting themselves in trouble with alcohol-related problems as well.
Underage drinkers accounted for about 20 percent of the drivers who were involved in fatal alcohol-related accidents in the U.S. in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Dr. Michele Borba, an internationally-recognized author, speaker, and educator on parenting, bullying prevention and character education, is here to help kick off the conversation between you and your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Tips to Help Prevent Teenage Drinking:
-Be a good role model. Drink in moderation, if any at all, around your teen.
-Start early and keep talking. Talk to them before they get their driver’s license and continue the talk long after. Reinforcement helps to keep the subject fresh in their minds.
-Don’t make the booze available. Count the liquor bottles and lock them up in your home. Talk to older, of-age siblings about saying no, too!
-Stay strong when monitoring their whereabouts.
-Practice comebacks. Prepare your teen for peer pressure and teach them how to effectively fight against alcohol offerings.
-Come up with a secret code so that teens can contact you for help.
-Team up with the parents of your teen’s friends.
If you or your teenager has been injured or killed in a car accident in Rock Hill or in any of the surrounding areas, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.
The (Partial) Cost of Underage Drinking, by Katherine Hobson, The Wall Street Journal
More Blog Entries:
Union County Car Accident Kills 1 Teen, Injures 4, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 17, 2012
Teens Must Log Driving Hours to Prevent Charlotte Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 10, 2012