Prom season is one of the most dangerous times on the road. As many as three accidents out of every five during prom weekends involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol, and the death toll rises for teens during the prom period from March through June. Drunk drivers out on prom night aren’t the only ones who can be devastated by accidents. Boston.com recently told the stories of multiple families affected by fatal collisions and accidents causing serious injuries during prom season. One woman, for example, lost her mother and sustained injuries that cost her more than $400,000 to treat.
These stories are designed to discourage teens from drinking, as are efforts by school officials to discourage drunk driving and instead participate in safe activities after the big dance. Unfortunately, despite the awareness of drunk driving dangers, studies have demonstrated that around 70 percent of high school students think their peers are probably going to drive drunk on prom night. Parents need to do their part to try to prevent this unsafe behavior before a bad decision on prom night destroys countless lives. Victims of collisions also need to understand their rights and should contact a Boston car accident lawyer.
Preventing Prom Season Accidents
Although the dangers of driving drunk are well known, troubling statistics show that one out of every 10 parents think it is OK for kids to drink after prom as long as they consume the alcohol at parties that are supervised by an adult. Parental permissiveness towards consuming alcohol on prom night is likely to lead to disaster by teaching kids that prom night is the exception to normal safety rules. Not only that, but other adults who trust their kids are going to a supervised party would likely be appalled to find out that alcohol is being served.
To avoid the serious dangers of intoxicated teen drivers on prom night, parents need to do their part to monitor their own children and to avoid creating a culture where drinking is seen as OK. Parents also need to be aware of some of the other risks that kids face on prom night besides driving drunk. For example, teens who are allowed to stay out later than normal may drive while fatigued. Teens who go to prom in large groups are also more likely to be distracted while driving and could cause accidents because they focus on their friends and not the road.
There are things parents can do to try to minimize the dangers including:
- Encouraging kids to join together and rent a limo so there is no risk of drunk driving.
- Finding out their children’s detailed itinerary and making sure that all after-parties will be supervised (talking to the parent throwing the party can be a good idea to make sure you are on the same page about alcohol use).
- Doing a test-run of the prom route if your kids will be driving so they’ll know the way.
- Offering to pick up your kids (or their friends) at any time during the night so they don’t feel forced into getting into a car with someone who is too tired or who has been drinking.
By talking to your kids, setting ground rules and keeping tabs on what the plans are for prom, parents can go a long way towards making the roads safer during this high risk season.
If you were involved in a Boston car accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Accused Drunk Driver Strikes Pedestrian in Lawrence, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 2, 2014