Teen Traffic Fatalities Increase in Spring Prom Season
Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by Zane Cagle
Senior Prom and High School Graduation- a Benchmark for Youth
If you are like me, it takes a minute to remember back to when you were a senior in high school. It is not hard to remember the excitement of feeling young, bold and somewhat invincible. However, these very feelings of invincibility and failure to think things through can have life-changing consequences. During the spring months including prom and graduation, the U.S. sees more fatal drunk driving car crashes among teens.
Remind, Monitor and Maybe Plead
Parents, teachers and other adults do a lot of reminding, monitoring and even pleading with their teens in order to keep them from drinking and driving all year and especially during spring school events. Spring is a time traditionally that we see an increase in teen drunk driving fatalities.
Drinking and driving can in a few seconds can literally put an end to all dreams that graduation brings.
Car Crashes are Leading Cause of Teen Deaths
It’s hard to believe after 20 plus years of MADD, SADD and D.A.R.E, drunk driving is still the number one cause of teen death. For many reasons, teens continue to drink and drive in spite of two decades and millions of dollars spent on education and awareness. The first cause is the nature of teenage years–rebellion against authority. Whether it is skipping class, staying out past curfew or drinking and driving, some teens rebel simply for the sake of rebellion. Drunk driving is a twisted way to boost the egos of some teens (as stated by teen writers in TeenInk.com)
The second cause according to TeenInk.com is that teens “let it happen” and have a hard time speaking out about drunk driving as it is a social affliction. Today, teens indicate that they are far more likely to ride as passengers in a cars driven by drunk drivers than in previous generations. According to the CDC, one in 5 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had some alcohol in their system in 2010 (latest figures according to CDC).
Teen authors suggest that it is crucial to think about life and death where drinking and driving is concerned. After drinking and driving, one can be fined heavily, lose their license at minimum but the consequences can be as extreme as ending one’s life or friend’s life. Life-changing consequences can be the result. A life time of regret far outlives the sense of rebellion or the social awkwardness of calling out someone who is drinking and driving.
Deaths Due to DUI–Preventable
According to MADD, “In the past 10 years, more U.S. citizens have died as a result of drunk driving than the Afghan War, the Iraq War, and Hurricane Katrina combined!” Unlike war, drunk driving is completely preventable.
Celebrate this Benchmark Responsibly
Obviously, for anyone under the age of 21, drinking alcohol is illegal. However, I believe parents, law enforcement and everyone else would agree that if a teen has been drinking, they will get in FAR LESS trouble is they call someone reliable to come and get them rather than climbing behind the wheel or getting in the car with someone who has been drinking.
It would be unethical for me to send a message to teens that drinking underage is okay–it is illegal. All of us adults were 18 year old seniors once upon a time. I know that it is far more important to be sure that the person who is driving you and your friends be SOBER. Even if it requires some planning, do not get in a car with someone who has been drinking ANY alcohol and absolutely do not climb behind the wheel if you have been drinking,
Simply make a plan. Plan so that you know how you are arriving and leaving the event, safely with a sober driver.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will need legal assistance.