The school year is winding down and many students are looking forward to attending prom and graduation. Unfortunately, this is typically the time when alcohol-related traffic accidents spike among teens.
The number of alcohol-related fatal accidents involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years old dropped 37 percent from 2000 to 2009. Even with the decrease, alcohol-fueled road accidents remain the leading cause of death in that age range according to a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Our Chicago car accident lawyers understand that our teenage students are excited during this time of year as they have prom, graduation and summer break approaching. Parents are urged to keep a close eye on their teens as student will be hitting the road in large numbers.
Research shows that 70 percent of high school upperclassmen expect their peers to consume alcohol and drive on prom night. Although schools rely on lockdowns of hotel and school venues, bloody mock DUI scenes, drug-sniffing dogs and random breath alcohol testing to keep students from drinking on prom night, measures oftentimes fail as students can consume alcohol at parties, before and after the chaperon supervised event.
“Most parents do not keep parties dry. More often than not, I’ve run into ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ situations, where parents stay upstairs, out of the fray,” said John G. Duffy, a clinical psychologist who has worked with high schoolers in the Chicago area.
Causing more than 2,300 fatalities in 2009, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for young drivers between the ages of 15 and 20. In addition to the thousands of deaths, nearly 20,000 teen drivers were injured in the same year.
Here are some teen safe driving tips to discuss with your student prior to their prom, graduation and summer break:
-Keep the number of passengers to a minimum. Passengers can provide a great deal of distraction to your young driver. Limit the number of passengers you teen is allowed in the vehicle.
-Buckle up. Seat belts save lives. Encourage you teen to wear one every time they drive.
-Follow the rules. Explain to your young driver that road signs are posted for a reason and encourage them to follow all stop signs, speed limits and traffic lights.
-Be sure they never drive impaired. Whether intoxicated with street drugs, prescriptions drugs, over the counter medications or alcohol, make sure your teen understands the consequences of driving in an impaired state.
Parents are urged to sit down and talk with their children about the dangers of drinking and driving. Discussing and signing a parent-teen driving contract can also help you to enforce your rules.
If you’ve been injured in an Illinois drunk driving accident, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Click here to contact Abels & Annes online, or call (312) 924-7575 to speak directly to a lawyer now.