Friends helping friends.
As long as I can remember, impaired driving has been brought to the attention of so many people in a formal educational setting. We learned growing up that not only was impaired driving frowned upon, but it is also illegal and dangerous. It would cost so many lives each and every day of the year.
Many people know these facts about impaired driving, yet they still become a risk and get behind the wheel when they should not. The problem regarding this seems that warnings from family, plus different scare tactics from media ads won’t always keep drivers and passengers safe on the road. But do you know what may work? Reminders from friends. Good friends.
By doing our part to prevent our friends from driving impaired, we could collectively help save thousands of lives a year from serious injuries or death. However, sometimes it can be quite difficult to do. Some people may have the conversation with their friends to stop them from driving impaired but others may be nervous or suffer from peer pressure and avoid making that first move. Down deep they do want to say something but may be afraid of saying the wrong thing. To help, here are a few ways to start the conversation.
The first thing to do is offer your help. You may have heard some parents say to their kids, “If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, at any time of night, just call me.” There’s nothing stopping us at any age to offer the same thing to our friends. If you make that offer to your friend, your friend is more likely to accept your offer and avoid a dangerous situation. You may need to offer a few times so they know you’re serious.
Next, focus on your friendship. Driving while impaired by alcohol is a serious topic, but you should not have to scare your friends into making proper decisions. Instead of attempting to scare them, you could perhaps focus on the fact that you care about them and their safety and that you want them to get home safely, which is what friends seem to want to do. Do not attempt to embarrass the person or be confrontational with them. Speak calmly and softly. If it is a close friend, speak to them privately and suggest they let someone else who has not been drinking to drive or for them to take alternative means of transportation home, like Uber or taxi.
Finally, give alternatives to the choices they want to make. But instead of just saying, “Don’t drive drunk,” you could also add a few simple options to impaired driving, which your friend may not have thought of. One of the ways to show you care is offering them an individual breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp. Make this the new normal within your friendship. Although your friend may not always intend to consume alcohol while they are out with friends, the temptation can be very real.
The personal breathalyzers are handy for them to use and really should be a normal part of their life when out socializing. It helps them to realize they do need to find a different way home. Be patient and firm with your decision to help a friend. Your actions can make a big difference and Not Your Child Corp is with you all the way.
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.