The months of April, May, and June are an exciting time for many families as they begin planning for prom and graduation season. Picking out formal attire, ordering graduation caps and gowns, planning graduation parties and prom after parties is all part of the fun during an exciting time that comes once in your child’s life. Amidst all the shopping and preparations getting ready for these events, it is important to take the time to sit down and discuss safety with your son or daughter. Unfortunately, the spring and early summer months are a particularly dangerous time for teenagers in terms of car accidents and injuries. Your teen needs to be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, and there are strategies parents as well as educators are using in order to drive home the importance for teens to protect themselves.
Teenage Drinking and Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 15 percent of Florida high school students confess to drinking and driving, and an even greater percentage are likely to engage in this type of dangerous behavior while being unwilling to admit it. The CDC offers these alarming facts about teenage drinking and driving:
- Teenagers in general are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than other, more experienced drivers. When drinking and driving, a teenagers odds of being involved in a fatal accident more than triple.
- One in five teens involved in fatal accidents had some alcohol in their system, and 85 percent of these drivers had more than the legal limit.
- Among teenagers who drink and drive, a majority admit to binge drinking, which is defined by having five or more drinks within a short time frame.
Even the safest and most responsible teen drivers face greater temptation and increased risks of serious accidents and injuries during the spring and early summer prom and graduation season, when their excitement at venturing into adulthood and the presence of alcohol at parties and events make it more likely for them to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel. Even if they themselves are not under the influence, getting in a car with another driver who has been drinking or encountering a drunk driver on the road can end up leaving them facing severe, potentially life-threatening injuries.
Raising Awareness of Underage Drinking and Driving Accidents
With the prevalence of these types of accidents over prom and graduation seasons, many schools and communities have taken steps to warn teenagers of the dangers. Mock DUI crashes, like the one reported by the Orlando Sentinel in the Mount Dora school district, simulate the situations under which these accidents happen, the severe and even fatal injuries that can occur, and the heartache and pain caused to loved ones and friends as a result. These types of programs are being used throughout the United States in an effort to get teens’ attention, and parents are encouraged to work with these programs in order to drive home the message. The CDC urges parents to do the following to help protect their children against these types of accidents:
- Reinforce the importance of not drinking and driving;
- Agree to pick up their teen if they have had too much to drink, or if their ride becomes intoxicated;
- Limit nighttime driving and the number of friends your teen is allowed to have in their vehicles;
- Remind them to obey all traffic laws and speed limits; and
- Make seat belt use mandatory, both for drivers as well as passengers.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a drunk driver, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we understand the serious impacts these accidents can have, and can assist you in holding responsible parties accountable. We serve clients in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland; call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.