Research Behind the RAAPS Questions (Question #10)

RAAPS Question #10 

Teen drivers are already at an increased risk of collisions. When they drink alcohol, use other drugs, or text and drive, teens endanger their own lives and the lives of other passengers on the road. Each year, thousands of teens are killed or permanently disabled because of motor vehicle accidents (MVA).  MVAs are the greatest causes of death and serious injury in teens.  Approximately 28% of adolescents ages 15-20 years who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2005 had been drinking. High school students are more likely to drink, smoke cigarettes, and smoke marijuana in the month immediately after earning their driver’s license.

What can you do to save teen’s lives:
1) Know the statistics and use a screening tool to open the door to discussions with teens about their risky behaviors

2) Talk with teens about their driving behaviors and give them options for being safer:

  • Put your phone in your glove box or back seat while driving
  • Turn your phone off while driving
  • Wait until you are parked to use your phone
  • Ask a friend riding with you to text for you
  • If you need to text, pull into a parking lot or drive, park and then text

Never drive a car after using even a small amount of drugs or alcohol and avoid riding with someone who has.

  • Before you go out for the night, decide who is going to be the designated driver
  • Identify an adult you can call for a ride if you find yourself in a situation that is unsafe
  • Offer to drive if you are sober
  • Find a ride from someone else
  • Call a taxi cab
  • Make plans to stay the night wherever you are going