Drinking and Driving Among Adolescents

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Consideration for Driving During Drinking

Drinking and Driving Among Adolescents

Drinking and Driving Among Adolescents,Drinking and  Driving and Nursing Care,Interventions in Drinking/Driving.

Drinking and Driving Among Adolescents

    Drinking and driving is rooted in the central role that alcohol plays in American life and culture. Alcohol is commonly found at celebrations, parties, and leisure activities. In addition, advertisements on television, magazines, and billboards present messages that shine a positive light on drinking. 

    Given this situation and despite drinking laws, adolescents drink and drive, and adolescents who have been drinking are involved in fatal crashes at twice the rate of adult drivers (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2002)

    Thirty percent of youth aged 15 to 20 who were killed in automobile accidents had been drinking (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2002).

Drinking and  Driving and Nursing Care

    Six articles on drinking/driving were published in the nursing literature from 1995 to 2001. No nursing publications were uncovered on drinking/driving for 2002 and 2003. Only two of the six focused on drinking/driving among adolescents (Kuthy, Grap, Penn, & Henderson, 1995; Shreve, 1998). 

    Kuthy and colleagues evaluated a 20-minute program showing pictures of automobile accidents to determine if there was a change in drinking/driving behavior after the program. 

    One month after the program a telephone interview indicated that the 274 high school driver's education students showed a significant change in drinking/driving behavior. Shreve evaluated a student drinking/driving prevention program with 39 students. 

    Following the program, 40% of the students indicated they would change their behavior. It can be concluded that little has been published in the nursing literature on drinking/driving and there are no studies focusing on intervening in drinking/driving situations. 

    However, health promotion is a major goal of nursing, and investigating intervening as a passenger in drinking/driving situations may offer approaches to change behavior that may prevent the injurious consequences associated with drinking/driving among adolescents. 

    In a national study of 10,277 drunken driving fatalities, Isaacs, Kennedy, and Graham (1995) found that in 5% to 10% of these cases there were superior passengers who could have intervened. Furthermore, helped of the fatalities in persons 16 to 19 years of age had at least one sober passenger in the car who could have intervened. 

    In a study of adolescents in grades 9-12 conducted in 199 schools in 34 states, 30% reported that in the previous 30 days they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and 13% had driven a car or other vehicle after drinking alcohol (Grunbaum et al., 2002).

 Interventions in Drinking/Driving

    Shore and Compton (2000) describe successful interventions in drinking/driving as forceful statements, clear demands, and concrete actions. These are more effective than requests, pleas, or suggestions. 

    Thus, more assertive interventions tend to be more successful than less assertive interventions. Threatening the drinking driver's competence is less likely to be effective in stopping the drinker from driving (Shore & Compton, 1998). Smart and Stoduto (1997) found that people tend to intervene more with friends than with strangers. 

    Having some familiarity with the intoxicated individual seems to be more conductive to intervening. Smith and colleagues (2004) in a qualitative study on intervening as a passenger in drinking/driving queried 52 youths about drinking/driving situations and interventions. 

    Findings of the study included the following drinking/driving situations where the participants were: entangled with a drinking driver who was determined to drive, end edangered while riding in a car with a drinking driver, and stranded because they did not get in the car with a drinking driver and had no one to turn to for a ride. 

    Interventions described by the participants were: to persuade, to interfere, to plan ahead, and to threaten. It can be concluded that if youth passengers intervene and break the link between drinking and driving there is potential for reducing drinking/driving fatalities.

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