You son or daughter got into Ohio State, a dream school for your entire family. You’re thrilled. You know your child will get the college experience and education you’ve always hoped for. It’s close to home, so you still get to stay involved.
You’re also worried. There are so many ways for kids to get injured while they’re out on their own. You know your “child” is now a legal adult, but, as any parent knows, you never really stop worrying about the risks. You never stop thinking of your kids as those tiny babies you brought home from the hospital.
Car accident risks
To focus on one area of risk, take a look at car accidents. Most students own their own vehicles or have cars they can use — 70 percent, according to one study. That risk is always going to be there.
Plus, studies have also shown that college students are more likely to engage in three very dangerous activities behind the wheel. These are:
When looking at drivers up to 20 years old, statistics show that 28 percent of those who die in car accidents have at least some alcohol in their system, clocking in with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.01. While this isn’t over the legal limit, these drivers are underage.
On top of that, most of them — 24 percent — were actually over that limit of 0.08. That stat comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Even when you go past the legal drinking age, the statistics are dire. Those between 21 years old and 24 years old die in accidents with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 a full 32 percent of the time. They can legally drink, but then they often take the risk and drive.
A full 27 percent of drivers who get killed in distracted driving accidents are in their 20s, per the NHTSA. This includes texting and driving. It extends to any distraction, though. That could be as simple as eating a muffin on the way to class, looking over to talk to friends and classmates, or trying to program a new destination into the GPS.
Drowsy driving turns dangerous due to slowed reaction times even if a person doesn’t fall asleep while driving. Per the National Sleep Foundation, those between the ages of 18 and 29, right in that college age bracket, drive when they’re tired more than any other age groups. With the pressure on students to work, socialize and go to class, this can be a serious issue when they have chronic sleep problems.
Even when your child acts safely, this is the college environment. The risk of getting hit by another driver still exists and families must know their options when kids get hurt.