How do you teach your teen to not drink and drive? It’s hard for anyone to really grasp the life and death consequences of drinking and driving until a crash happens to them or someone they love, and that’s why a Minnesota high school is helping teens fake their own deaths.
Did you know that every 15 minutes someone, somewhere dies in an alcohol-related car crash? Moorhead High School in Minnesota has set up a program called ‘Every 15 minutes’ and it involves simulating a mock accident and the death of a student due to drinking and driving. The students participating are taken away for the day, and their parents have to write obituaries for their child.
In addition to the fake deaths, the high school staged a car crash made up of teens participating. Each teen that ‘died’ had their face painted white to simulate death, and the crash simulation was designed to show teens the sights and sounds of an actual alcohol-related car crash.
These types of scenarios are a concrete way to enforce the realities of drinking and driving for teens. If you don’t have access to a program like ‘Every 15 minutes’ at your teen’s high school, there are a few other steps you can take:
- Talk to your teen about the dangers of underage drinking, and cite examples from the news about driving under the influence (DUI) related crashes
- Limit your teen’s night time driving, and ensure they have the car back by a certain time
- Ask your teen to not drive with others their age. If they need a ride, ask them to always call you
- Ensure your teen knows that seat belts save lives, and to always wear one while in a vehicle
Keeping your teen from making the choice to drink and drive may be as simple as keeping the lines of communication open. For more information on how to talk to your teen about drinking and driving, visit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).