It’s late, you’re tired, and all you want to do is get in the car so you can
go home. But what if the driver is drunk? The answer is simple – don’t get into
the car. If the driver is drunk, it's going to be a long time before it is safe
for him or her to drive. To protect yourself, you must find another way home.
Ask someone else to drive, call your parents, call another friend, or just take
If the driver is a parent or another adult, it may be hard for you to say
that you won’t get in the car. Don’t be afraid to ask if the person has been
drinking. He or she may be surprised or offended by the question, but it’s your
right to have a safe ride home. If your parent is the one who is driving drunk,
talk to another adult you trust or contact Alateen for help in the future.
There's a lot going on in your life -- school, friends, relationships, body changes -- so it's no surprise that your emotions are all over the place sometimes.
So how do you know if your roller coaster of feelings is normal or something that could be a problem? Start by asking yourself these questions:
Have you stopped doing things that you used to really like to do -- like baseball or track, dance, or school clubs? Not that you switched from soccer to lacrosse because you like it better, but...
Some of the same advice applies to taking rides from a driver who is
fatigued or over-tired. Ask someone else to drive or suggest that the driver
stop to rest before continuing.
You may also be driving with friends or family members who recently got
their driver’s licenses. New drivers may be too willing to take risks on the
road, or may be careless and unsafe. Take notice and don’t be afraid to speak
up for your safety or to find a different way to get to where you are
Safe driving tips
Always wear your seat belt. Make sure your passengers buckle up, too.
Never drive with more people in your car than you have seat belts for.
Try not to drive with more than one passenger. The more passengers in your
car, the more likely you are to get in an accident. More passengers mean more
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t drive if you are sleepy.
Don’t talk on the phone, put on make-up, brush your hair, or eat while
Don’t play with the radio while you’re driving. Wait until you are stopped
or ask your passenger to change the station or adjust the volume.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for motorcycles,
people crossing the street, and bikers.
Don’t be an aggressive driver. Aggressive drivers speed, follow too
closely, or weave in and out of lanes.
Do be a defensive driver. Defensive drivers drive the speed limit, follow
at a safe distance, and are alert and aware of their surroundings.
WebMD Public Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services