When you’re 16, life seems like it could never end. Teens want to drive faster, stay out later, and try new things, all because they have a sense of invincibility. But if that sense of invincibility includes getting behind the wheel after drinking or doing drugs, your teen could be in for some real trouble. Teen drivers are already susceptible to a higher crash risk, but when you combine a new driver with a few drinks, their crash risk becomes even higher.
Uneasy parents of teen drivers may take a few different courses of action when it comes to protecting their teen. They could talk to them about proper driving behaviours and just hand over the keys, hoping for the best. They could also opt for an in-vehicle car breathalyzer so they are positive their teen can’t drink and drive.
Whatever method parents of teens choose, it’s useful for all parents to sit down with their teens and talk with them about the top teen driving myths. Maybe if a parent debunks something that’s believed to be fact, the teen will decide against driving or getting in the car with an impaired driver.
Here are the top 2 driving myths parents should discuss with their teens:
Myth: If I’ve had one drink, I’m OK to drive
One drink may only result in a teen receiving a low reading on a car breathalyzer or police breathalyzer, but that one drink is enough to slow reflexes and decrease your coordination. Buzzed driving, especially when you’re an inexperienced teen driver, can be just as deadly as driving when they register over .08.
Myth: If I smoke pot, it’s OK to drive. It’s only after drinking that I shouldn’t drive
New research is showing that pot will affect driving ability just as much as alcohol does. The Canadian Center on Substance Abuse (CCSA) says that teen high driving is actually about to overtake impaired driving in terms of causes for fatal crashes. Here’s a quick video about talking to your kids about high driving.
There aren’t very many parents who don’t worry about teen impaired driving. Whether you opt to install a car breathalyzer to reassure you that your teen cannot start their car at all after drinking or you just spend some time discussing the risks and myths of impaired driving with your son or daughter, your best bet for protecting your teen is to keep the conversation open, engaging, and reinforce that drinking and driving is the wrong choice.