Positive Peer Pressure in Eliminating Drunk or Distracted Driving

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  • The average age of majority of college students is between 18 and 24 years old. This age group is also the most likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol and is one of the most distracted age groups when behind the wheel.

    Despite the strict laws that are put in place to prevent drunk or distracted driving incidents, accidents related to these poor driving choices occur every day.

    The Risks of College Life

    The stereotypical college student drinks too much, can’t live without his or her cell phone and makes “risky” choices. While college life opens up the door to a whole new set of “freedoms” and experiences, taking big and unsafe risks doesn’t need to be part of college life. Younger college students might be more at risk for being unsafe if they followed all the rules in high school.

    Unfortunately, many college kids feel pressured to be “fun.” That can often result in getting behind the wheel after one too many or even taking a selfie with the roommates while driving down the interstate. How can college students get involved to be good role models to one another and use peer pressure for good?

    Positive Peer Pressure

    Not every college student is the same. While some invest in their future and take college seriously, others take the opportunity to party. Here are some ways that college students can use peer pressure positively to discourage drunk or distracted driving:

    • Join or Create Student a Group That Organizes “Sober” Events

      You don’t need to be judgy towards peers who drink, but you can organize and be part of events where alcohol isn’t served. From Battle of the Bands to movie marathons and a bunch of other activities, you can show your peers that they can have fun without drinking.

    • Organize a Designated Driver Group

      Even if you live on a “dry” campus, some students will drink and others will not. Offering to be a designated driver (DD)or joining/creating a group of DDs can be valuable to your student body. Donate your time for free or charge a small fee (life a ride-share service) to cover the cost of gas and other maintenance.

    • Challenge Your Peers to Design an App

      We live in an age of apps, and while many of them can cause us to be distracted while driving, others may prevent us from being distracted. Team up with other departments across campus (such as Law Enforcement, Computer Science, or Graphic Design) to hold an app creating contest. The contest can focus on being distraction-free or to prevent drunk driving.

    • Ask Your Community to Get Involved

      Most college students have limited finances, and it’s always nice to offer incentives or get free stuff. Go to restaurants, bars, and clubs around your community and ask them if they’d be willing to offer “free” non-alcoholic drinks or appetizers to students who don’t drink or have made a commitment to being a DD.

    • Encourage Your Friends to Take a Pledge

      Pledging to be a more responsible driver may sound too good to be true, but think about all the other things that people sign and commit to each day. Young people want to be part of something big and something good.

    While encouraging others to sign a pledge to be safer behind the wheel may not eliminate drunk or distracted driving crashes, it may make people think twice about their actions.

    Off-to-College reference:

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