What Can Parents Do To Keep Teen Drivers Safe This Thanksgiving Break?

‚ÄčWe have all read about Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers come out in droves to take advantage of discounted sales prices throughout the country. Many parents, however, are unaware of Black Wednesday which is the day before Thanksgiving when many college students arrive home and visit with their friends who have been away since the beginning of this school semester. Many of these college students attend house parties, go to bars, or otherwise congregate somewhere to catch up with their friends. Ultimately, these meetups can lead these teens to consume alcohol and or do drugs.

What Is Black Wednesday?

Most parents do not realize that Black Wednesday is one of the nights when the most fatal motor vehicle accidents occur involving teen drivers. It has been reported that Black Wednesday got its name because of the number of college students that blackout from drinking.

There are many reasons why this has become such a deadly night for teen drivers:

  1. It might be the first opportunity that many college students have to revisit with their high school friends and catch up about their experiences while they have been away at school.
  1. Many parents are prepared for the holiday festivities and have purchased alcohol for the guests that they expect to have over their house for Thanksgiving and the remainder of the holiday season, and so their liquor cabinet is well stocked.
  1. Students look forward to spending time with their family and friends over the Thanksgiving weekend and are provided with an opportunity to escape from school and unfortunately engage in making some bad decisions.

So what can parents do to help safeguard their teenagers? It is important that parents talk to their children about the dangers of drinking and driving. It is also important that parents talk to their teenagers about not getting into a motor vehicle that is being operated by someone who has been drinking or doing drugs.

What Can Parents Do to Help?

Parents should encourage their children to call them if they are in any type of situation where they need to be picked up because they are intoxicated or are with someone that is intoxicated. Parents should let their child know that there will be no negative ramifications from their child calling their parents because you would rather that they be safe and are willing not to punish them in any way, shape, or form. This, however, would provide a good opportunity for a parent to then speak with their child about the ramifications of making bad decisions.

Some parents think that it is better to have their child's friends come over to their house and drink rather than to have them out on the roadways moving from bar to bar. The thought is that the parent will have the students over, will collect all of the students' keys to their motor vehicles, and that all of the students will sleep over the house so that no one will be drinking and driving. Parents need to understand that this is a very bad idea; this could have criminal repercussions, and might result in the serious injury or death of one of their children's guests.

Parents should also monitor their liquor cabinets so they are aware of whether or not there are any missing bottles or if any of their alcohol has been consumed by marking a line on the bottle that reflects how much liquor is in the bottle. The fact that this procedure is in place should be shared with your child so that they know this is not an option for them.

We Genuinely Care About Your Family’s Well-Being

Please be very vigilant in monitoring your child's behavior while they are home for this Thanksgiving holiday. This is especially true because of the fact that Black Wednesday is such a dangerous evening for teen drivers. This is the time of the year when friends and family gather to give thanks for many different things. Please talk with your children to help ensure that they have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

For more information, contact our Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh LLP by calling us at (888) 244-5480 for legal counsel.