What’s meant to be a fun night for high school students often turns into a deadly night with so many teens on the road late at night. What is shocking, is that teens don’t view prom night as being dangerous.
A survey conducted by Liberty Mutual found that only 20% of juniors and seniors believed being on the roads is dangerous on prom night. However, about 1,000 youth under age 21 die each year in preventable tragedies while celebrating their high school proms and graduations according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Approximately one-third of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens occur between these months. In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19.
I have handled many, many tragic cases through the years involving drinking and driving, as well as injuries to underage drivers and passengers,” said Local Car Accident Lawyer Ken Gerber.
An AAA survey of teens aged 16-19 found that 31 percent say it’s likely that they or their friends would use drugs or alcohol during prom graduation season. Approximately 53 percent of teens who admit to drinking during or after the prom say they consumed four or more alcoholic beverages. Some even end up driving.
The AAA survey also found that 87 percent of teens think their friends are more likely to drink and drive than call home for a ride, especially if they think they’d get in trouble. About 19 percent say they’ve gotten in the car with someone who had been drinking rather than call their parents for a ride. Thirty percent of teens know other peers who have gotten DUIs for impaired driving.
The solution is to obviously call for a ride but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a call to parents.
“With teens, these days being so connected electronically, and with the availability of ride sharing, taxis and people available with a quick text, there is no reason for anyone to drink and drive and put themselves and others at risk,” said Gerber.
“Parents need to have in-depth, honest discussions with their teens about the dangers of this and give them the understanding that the short-term consequences of being punished by their parents for drinking pale in comparison to the lifelong consequences of killing or injuring someone after choosing to drink and drive.”
As a local car accident lawyer, Gerber has seen too many teen drivers and passengers injured in car accidents due to alcohol. Distracted driving can also play a role, especially with a car full of teens. Of course, alcohol mixed with fatigue after a long night can especially be a deadly combination.
If you should be hurt in a local car accident, call us as soon as possible so we can help you navigate through the legal process.