Prom and graduation seasons are here, which means teens around the country are preparing for nights of fun and celebration. While this is a joyful time, it’s important for teens and parents to understand the dangers of underage drinking and intoxicated driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in America, which means preparing young adults with the safety information they need is crucial, especially this time of year when they may be tempted to make troublesome decisions like drunk driving or riding in the car with an intoxicated driver.
In fact, starting in April, when prom and graduation season begins, the number of fatal car accidents involving teenagers increases, with an average of 246 deaths per month until class begins again in late August and September.
Findings from the most recent study on young drivers by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that 28 percent of drivers 15 to 20-years-old who were killed in car accidents had alcohol in their systems.
Many crashes involving teens happen late at night on the weekends, with 49% of teen deaths from car accidents occurring between 3 p.m. and midnight on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Knowing these facts, parents and teens need to work together to create a plan for prom night and graduation parties that encourages making the right choices and asking for help if they need it.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving said that almost half of all 10th grade students drink alcohol, so even if you don’t think your child will be drinking on prom night or after graduation, establish guidelines and discuss safe options with them just in case.