Teenagers’ lives are stressful, filled with pressure to get good grades, be involved in extracurricular activities, fit in with their friends, and meet their parents’ expectations. Even good kids can have lapses in judgment and make the bad decision to drink alcohol and then take their motorcycles out for a ride. Unfortunately, this significantly increases the danger of serious traffic accidents for other people using Ventura County streets and highways.
Reasons Teens Drink and Warning Signs of Trouble
Teens drink for a variety of reasons. They may feel pressure to join in if their friends are drinking. Sometimes, like adults, they drink to relax and unwind with their friends. Others use it as an escape from their problems—at school, at home, with friends, or with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Some teens drink infrequently when they feel pressured to. For others, it’s a bigger problem and a parent might notice these warning signs in a teenager:
- His personality or attitude changes in puzzling and sudden ways.
- He acts withdrawn and isolated or engages in suspicious or secretive behaviors.
- He starts skipping school or his grades go down.
- He’s no longer interested in his friends or the hobbies and activities he once participated in.
Why Teen Drinking Is Dangerous
Sadly, many teens are not mature enough to resist their friends’ pressures to drink and don’t realize how drinking alcohol results in mistakes when they’re driving—with dangerous consequences for themselves and others they share the road with. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drinking and driving continues to be a big problem, as the following statistics indicate:
- One in ten teenagers in high school still drives after drinking.
- Nearly one million teens drank before getting behind the wheel in 2011.
- Sixteen- to twenty-year old drivers whose blood alcohol level is .08 or higher are 17 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers of the same age who don’t drink and drive.
Motorcycles are very popular with teens, in part because driving them gives them a greater sense of freedom and exhilaration—things they crave at this age. But drinking alcohol and driving a motorcycle is dangerous—even for adults—and leads to other motorists suffering serious injuries or dying.
Do you have any experiences with a teen who was drinking and driving? Share your advice in the comments. And share this post on Facebook and Twitter with your friends and family who could benefit from the information here.