Most of us are all too familiar with Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers come out in droves to take advantage of discounted sales prices throughout the country. Whether one chooses to brave the crowds or refresh the Amazon homepage looking for the best cyber deal, a particular danger is often overlooked. This danger becomes present long before the stores unlock their doors for the public. Many parents are unaware of Black Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving when many college students arrive home. After reuniting with family, they are typically eager to visit with the friends from who they have been apart since the school semester began. Many visiting college students congregate somewhere to catch up with their friends, whether by attending house parties or going out to bars. Ultimately, these meetups can lead these teens to consume alcohol or do drugs.
What Is Black Wednesday?
Most parents do not realize that Black Wednesday is one of the nights when fatal motor vehicle accidents involving teen drivers are most likely to occur. In addition, 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:
- It might be the first opportunity many college students have to revisit their friends from high school and catch up on their experiences while away.
- Many parents prepare for the holiday festivities in advance. Meaning, they have purchased alcohol for the guests they expect to have over their house for Thanksgiving. As a result, their liquor cabinet will be well-stocked for the remainder of the holiday season.
- Students look forward to spending time with their family and friends over the Thanksgiving weekend. They are provided with an opportunity to escape from school and, unfortunately, make some bad decisions.
So what can parents do to help safeguard their teenagers? First, parents must talk to their children about the dangers of drinking and driving. It is also vital for parents to talk to their teenagers about not getting into a motor vehicle operated by someone who has been- or who they think may have been- drinking or doing drugs, no matter the amount.
What Can Parents Do to Help?
Parents should encourage their children to call them if they are in any situation where they need to be driven home because they are intoxicated or are with someone that is intoxicated. Parents should let their teens know that there will be no negative ramifications from making this call because you would rather they be safe than get behind the wheel in fear of punishment if caught intoxicated or at a gathering with alcohol. Ensuring that they will not be in trouble for calling you would provide a good opportunity for a parent to speak with their teen about the ramifications of making bad decisions.
Some parents think it is better to have their child's friends come over to their house and drink, rather than drink unsupervised or 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 terrible idea that could lead to and may result in the serious injury or death of one of their children's guests, which could have criminal repercussions.
Parents should also monitor their liquor cabinets so they know whether 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. Statistics show that Black Wednesday is an extremely dangerous evening for teen drivers to be out on the roadways. This is the time of the year when friends and family gather to give thanks for many different things. Following the advice provided by the personal injury lawyers at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh can help avoid a serious tragedy. Please talk with your children to help ensure that they have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
For more information, click here to contact our Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh LLP, or call us at (203) 438-7450. We provide complimentary advice and free virtual case evaluations!