Teens give lots of reasons for trying alcohol – to celebrate a special occasion, for example, or out of curiosity. Some teens think alcohol will put them in a better mood or make them feel less awkward. Others drink to fit in. They figure, “How bad could it be if everyone is doing it?”
But the truth is, teen drinking can have tragic consequences. More than 4,700 people are killed each year because of underage drinking – and that is not just in car crashes. Those deaths include things like homicides, suicides, alcohol poisonings, falls, drownings, burns and other causes of deaths.
The lives of thousands of teens – like Taylor, Shelby, Lauren and Alexis – are tragically cut short every year because of teen drinking. It’s just not worth it.
That’s why we developed the Power of You(th) program. It gives teens the tools they need to take a stand and help their friends do the same.
This Red Ribbon Week, help us empower teens to take a stand against underage drinking by spreading the word on all of your social media channels and to all the teens you know about MADD’s tools and resources:
Parents often worry about their kids’ safety, and they have good reason to be concerned when their teen gets behind the wheel. Young, inexperienced drivers are the most crash-prone drivers on the road. In fact, traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for American teenagers.
Talking to your kids about the dangers of driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe on the road, but many parents just assume their teens get this information elsewhere, so they don’t have the conversation.
October 19-25 is Teen Driver Safety Week, and it’s a great time for parents to talk to their teen drivers about the risks they face.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “5 to Drive” campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow:
No Alcohol. Even though the minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21, among 15- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 28 percent of the drivers killed had been drinking. And we know that drunk driving crashes are not the only danger to teens when it comes to alcohol, so talk with your teen about the risks of underage drinking. Use our Power of Parents® handbook to help get the conversation started.
Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by their phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.
Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. By comparison, 30 percent of all fatal crashes that year involved speeding.
No More Than One Passenger at a Time.Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.
Talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel.
We are excited to hear this trend is continuing, especially with Red Ribbon Week just around the corner Find out how you can help reduce the deaths and injuries that come from underage drinking by visiting www.madd.org/redribbonweek to download all of our free Red Ribbon Week resources and learn how you can get involved in your community.
As part of MADD's on-going efforts to encourage adults to plan ahead and always have a designated non-drinking driver, we are excited to announce that Uber and MADD Wisconsin have teamed up to save lives.
For every person that signs up in Madison from October 16th through October 23rd, Uber will donate $1 to MADD!