Don’t Let Your Teen Become a Statistic!
2 Teens Involved in Fatal Car Accident in Rockland County, NY
On May 7, a 16-year-old boy was killed, and a 17-year-old girl badly injured, when the car in which they were traveling crashed on Congers Road in New City. The 18-year-old driver was charged with vehicular homicide, and driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, this was the second fatal crash involving teenagers from our area in just a few weeks.
In a recent study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released some frightening statistics. In 2019, 17% of high school students nationwide reported riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol at least once during the past month, and 5% reported driving after drinking alcohol at least once in the past month. In addition, teens who drink underage, or who ride with impaired drivers, are more likely to drive impaired themselves.
Addressing underage drinking with your child can be difficult, but according to the organization Partnership to End Addiction, parental involvement is critical to ensure a child’s understanding and awareness. They offer the following tips:
- Try to be objective and open. If you want to have a productive conversation, do your best to keep an open mind and hear their point of view.
- Ask open-ended questions. These are questions that elicit more than just a yes or no response. It will lead to a more productive conversation.
- Ask why your child is interested in drinking. This gets your teen to think about the future and possible negative consequences.
- Let your child know they are being heard. Use active listening and reflect back what you are hearing.
- Discuss the negative effects of alcohol. This can be what that means as to mental and physical health. Talk about the long-term effects.
As high schoolers look forward to prom night and celebrating graduation, take this opportunity to remind them of the importance of making good decisions. And if they should find themselves in an uncomfortable predicament, encourage them to call a parent, friend or even an Uber. The future can change with one bad choice or one good one!