Drinking and Driving As Teenagers
Most teenagers anxiously await the moment they get their drivers license. Most parents dread it.
Although we do experience a certain level of excitement and pride when our teen joins the ranks of licensed drivers, our joy is also accompanied by anxiety. Even if your son or daughter is a good safe driver you worry about the dangers of the road imposed by other drivers. DUI, DWI and impaired driving charges are a possibility. Protecting ones driving record is nice but protecting life and the lives of others is much more. You as parents can certainly help prevent accidental lapses of judgment among our teenagers.
Driving may not turn out to be as wonderful and adventurous as your teen expected. Teenagers soon learn valuable lessons, as they become the owner of their own vehicle. They soon find that having a car of their own not only brings freedom but it also brings a great deal of responsibility – sometimes more than they anticipated. The cost of gas, insurance and maintenance can be a huge burden. Protecting their driving records can be a whole other issue.. an indelible mark on ones not so clear driving record can stay with your teenager for a very long time.
Teens will discover that a full tank of gas doesn’t really go that far and the fluctuating cost of gasoline can easily put a drain on resources. Not only are gas prices and maintenance a wake-up call for the new driver but also he or she may feel taken advantage of when called upon to chauffer others around.
At first they are eager to show off their newly acquired drivers license and vehicle but as soon as word spreads that they have a car, the teen may find that he or she has friends coming out of the woodwork. It’s a scenario similar to winning the lottery - suddenly you have relatives you’ve never met. All of a sudden people that were never interested in associating with you before now want to be your best friend.
You can caution your teen in hopes that he or she will not let others take advantage but it may prove to no avail. Sometimes teenagers will heed the advice of their parents; other times they will not. Sooner or later they will realize who their true friends are; having a car may hasten that process along. Male teenagers in particular may attempt to use their vehicles not only to impress their friends but also to win the affection of a special girl. Unfortunately the poor boy may find himself playing taxi to a young lady who has no interest in anything other than the car and the luxury of having a personal chauffer.
Before allowing your teen to make a major purchase of a vehicle, make sure you have gone over the finer points of car ownership. You might end up with a smoking time bomb that you have to push into the garage. Owning a car is not a free ride. Along with the responsibility of driving also comes the responsibility of obeying traffic laws and proving that you are mature enough to be on the road.
As parents, we worry about drinking and driving, speeding and a host of other driving hazards. It is only normal to have these concerns about our teen’s driving ability but also the enormous amount of irresponsible drivers that fill our roads and highways. Every year the deaths attributed to automobile accidents rival those due to cancer and heart disease. Set a good driving example for your teen and pave the way for a smooth ride.