Being a teenager comes with a lot of new responsibilities, life lessons and getting a feel for how the real world works. Grasping reality and the serious consequences of certain actions is difficult because most teenagers are still living at home under the rules of their parent(s) or guardian(s) and don’t understand the real-life battle that comes with facing a serious offense. How can they understand the effects a DUI can have on their future when they’re only just beginning to grow into their adult self?
Micro-managing vs. being involved
It’s one thing to micromanage your kids, it’s quite another to show concern and be diligently involved in the goings-on of their lives. They still have their whole life ahead of them and it would be a shame for one bad decision to mar their future. Even if you believe your teenaged kid has a good head on their shoulders and shows good decision making skills, it’s still important to have these conversations. Teenagers face a world of temptation, so take the time to explain to them why a serious lapse in judgment could alter their life forever.
The 5 reasons teenagers have a higher risk for DUI accidents include:
1. Impaired judgment (even after just one drink)
Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a temptation a lot of teenagers face. They are in a hurry to grow up, try new things and don’t understand the effect these substances have. Seeing a parent or other adult acting normal and able to drive after having only one beer or glass of wine with dinner may lead them to believe that one drink really isn’t that harmful.
Whether a teenager thinks they feel buzzed or not after one drink doesn’t change the fact that the state of Arizona has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving.
2. Taking more risks
The newly found freedom of becoming a licensed driver intrigues them to push limits and take more risks than older drivers. Teenagers are more likely to speed, tailgate, run red lights, roll through stop signs and fail to yield for pedestrians. These violations make them a target for police and if there’s even an ounce of alcohol detected, they could be facing serious charges.
3. Reacting to hazardous conditions
Teenagers are inexperienced drivers and tend to underestimate the severity of driving through hazardous conditions. Poor weather conditions play a huge part here as well.
4. Cellphone use
Cellphones are one of the biggest driving distractions and teenagers of this generation are typically glued to their phones. With the exception of Phoenix and Tuscon, the state of Arizona does not ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving, which creates more of a temptation to use them.
5. Carrying passengers
A teenager with a passenger riding in their car are more likely to be involved in a car crash than if they were driving alone. The fatality rate for teen drivers with passengers in their car is 3.6 times higher.
Arizona law requires that teenagers can only drive with one other person under the age of 18 at any given time. If a cop sees a young driver with more than one passenger in the car they run a higher risk of being pulled over.