The season of growth and newness, of apple blossoms and gentle breezes, fragrances, birds, bees, you know. Spring stuff.
Well that’s just around the corner.
Depending on your age, Spring brings its own variety of fun and issues with it. Driving is absolutely one of the issues that will be coming up and hopefully this little blog today helps you prepare a little better.
In Texas, Spring Break will be spread across three weeks of the month. St Patrick’s Day is also going to pop up in the middle of the month as well.
And thought it's not a holiday to most people, we're also going to see my own personal kind of Christmas: the NCAA tournament will start in the middle of the month and happen every weekend for three weeks afterwards.
What is of course the one thing that Spring Breakers, St Patty party goers and college basketball fans may have in common?
Talking about alcohol is a big part of what we do at Comedy Guys Defensive Driving, because of its impact on drivers' ability to get where they're going safely.
And if you're a parent of a young driver, you have to be concerned about their driving safety. AND about their use of alcohol. AND especially about those two things coming together.
Those conversations are not always easy to have, but we want to offer some tips to make it easier.
MADD Wants to Make Drunk Driving
a Thing of the Past
The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was started in 1981 by Candy Lightner, a mother whose 13-year-old daughter was killed by a person on their THIRD drinking and driving incident.
Her goal to “Make America aware of the drinking and driving epidemic in this country” has been achieved over these past years, laws have been changed, yet drinking and driving continues to be in the top two causes in car accident deaths even today.
To date, the organization estimates that its efforts to increase awareness and strengthen laws has contributed to saving almost 400,000 lives.
If you want to sit down with the teenage drivers in your house and talk about this, MADD's website can provide you with information to make that easier.
What You Can Do
How can we stop this issue that continually plagues our society with preventable accidents, injuries and death?
A, E, I, O, and You.
Be aware of your kids activities and peers.
Parents of high school or college age kids, what are your children doing for Spring Break? Do you know where they are staying, who are they going with?
If not, don’t be afraid to be a parent and say “no” if you feel uncomfortable.
If so, these are still just young adults, or really old children. What do they know about alcohol?
Bring the subject up and let them tell you what they know, or think they know about alcohol, its effects and consequences.
I knew a girl in college who said the first time she ever drank she kept taking shots until the got sick and passed out.
When I asked why, she said “I never knew that’s what drinking did.”
When we refuse to even bring up the subject we are leaving all the education up to your kids. They have a teacher at school; they could use a teacher at home as well.
Don’t leave it up to your kids to find something to do on Spring Break, plan a family trip. Don’t make it the trip to go see Grandma and Grandpa, make it different and exciting.
It doesn’t have to last the whole week, even two days away can make a difference. Let them bring a friend or two if they want, because let’s face it, you’re probably boring and playing Hall & Oates on the drive.
There is a reason why the legal drinking age is 21, and that reason is death. No matter how smart and mature that teenager you love is, they are still a teenager.
Did you make only great decisions before 21?
Of course not.
Let them know the law says they can have ZERO alcohol in their system when driving, and that they WILL go to jail if so.
You are the single largest influence on your child if you stay involved. Friends will come and go, as will boyfriends and girlfriends, and sadly, even spouses. But Mom and Dad… That will always be your name to your kids, no matter how old they get.
Don’t sit back and let them figure out how to be an adult on their own. Have that conversation, don’t be afraid to tell them your mistakes from your younger days, don’t be afraid to tell them you never drank at all until 27, the point is, don’t be afraid. Tell them. They listen to you.
So before you fill out those brackets, have a cold pint of green beer, or start planning that awesome trip to the beach, talk with your teens, find out what they know and educate them with facts.
Phones down and Go, Texas A&M (for my brackets)!
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