Vital Signs for Teen Drivers

Did you know that close to one million high school students drank alcohol and got behind the wheel last year?  When teenagers drink any alcohol at all, not only is it illegal for them to drive, but it puts them at extremely high risk for a dangerous crash. Zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving is the law, but some teens still ignore the danger in favor of behavior they think is “cool”.

The “cool factor” isn’t what teens might think. My local school district conducted surveys and then asked students to create posters sharing the results, and the results might surprise some.

 78.6% of 9th Graders have not had an alcoholic drink in the last 30 days. You don’t need a drink to have a party.

88.2% of 9th graders have NOT smoked cigarettes, 86.6% have NOT smoked marijuana.

When asked, students often overestimate the percentage of their peers who use alcohol and other drugs. When they overestimate, they justify use by their peers and are more likely to use themselves. Our goal is to challenge and to correct students’ incorrect perceptions of peer alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and to consistently provide a ‘no use’ message to students. Seeing statistics like this helps debunk the “Everybody does it!” mythology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked bloggers to pass on these sites for parents and teen drivers alike.

Vital Signs; Teen Drinking and Driving

Vital Signs Social Media

Parents are the Key; a website devoted to safe teen driving in general

 

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