Statistics have shown that Prom-Graduation season, the months of April, May, and June, is the most dangerous time of year for teen drivers. Parents should talk to their teens before they head to the prom or graduation. It may just save them from being involved in drunk or distracted driving car accident in Greensboro, Winston-Salem or elsewhere in the state.
Our North Carolina accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices frequently write about this topic. But it is because teens are at such high risk. Young drivers are impressionable, but not always in a good way. So it is important to speak to your teen before something tragic happens. Events like prom or graduation parties leave teens battling peer pressure — and leave them vulnerable to making poor decisions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the following teenage drunk driving statistics:
-31 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal car accidents tested over the legal limit of .08.
-60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents are in large part due to alcohol consumption.
-An average of 8 teens per day dies in alcohol-related crashes.
-A third of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens occur during the months of April, May and June.
-6 out of every 10 high school juniors and seniors admit to being a passenger in a car with an intoxicated teen driver.
-75 percent of high school students admit to drinking alcohol and roughly 80 percent of juniors and seniors admit to drinking alcohol by age 16.
– Teens caught drinking and driving use prom, graduation and spring break as their biggest excuses to defend their behavior.
This time of year, many schools across the country hold forums and special anti-drinking and driving presentations by bringing in guest speakers or displays of crashed vehicles following a teen drunk driving accident. Some may even utilize a pledge agreement signed by students to not drink at prom or graduation events. Many high schools have begun testing blood alcohol levels with breathalyzers for students attending the prom. Prom-goers are turned away at the door if alcohol is detected.
Parents and teens are reminded of the following driving on prom night safety tips provided by Nationwide:
-Always have a cell phone with you in case of an emergency .
-Drowsy drivers should never get behind the wheel so call for a ride if you are too tired to drive.
-Change into comfortable shoes before you drive. Driving in high heels or bulky dress shoes that you are unfamiliar with could cause an accident.
-Take a test drive before the prom so you know exactly where you are going.
-Always wear your seat belt – both as a driver and as a passenger in the vehicle.
-Never drink and drive or get in a vehicle with a friend who is intoxicated behind the wheel.
Parents can also do their part by taking a proactive approach to communicate with their teen about the dangers of prom night and graduation parties. There are several versions of teen driving contracts that can be developed between young drivers and their parents to establish a clear understanding of safe driving behaviors. Visit teendriving.com for an example of a contract and the important items which should be included.
If you or your teenage driver has been involved in a car accident in North or South Carolina, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. Call for a free initial consultation at 1-800-887-1965.