In 2017, 35 million Americans plan to travel by car over Memorial Day weekend- a 2.4% increase since last year. Unfortunately, with that, there is an estimated 50,500 number of injuries due to car accidents each Memorial Day weekend. And an average of 439 fatalities from these traffic accidents with 44% of them being alcohol related.
For most, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. For teens, it is the start of the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities climb. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds.
The statistic is a harrowing one. Of all alcohol-related fatalities involving teens each year, approximately one-third of them take place during April, May, and June – prom and graduation season.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for the past several years during prom weekend, approximately 300 teens have died in alcohol-related car accidents. Also according to the NHTSA, one in three children under the age of 21 who died in alcohol-related accidents died during prom and graduation season.
A celebration can end in tragedy in a split second. All it takes is one poor decision. Parents should emphasize how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs and how these dangers increase on prom night.
It is non-negotiable – your children cannot drink or take drugs and drive. If they are not driving themselves, it is a parent’s right to know who will be driving them and the no alcohol or drugs rule holds true for them as well.
Another factor contributing to this increase in crashes is that teens drive more in the summer as they have more free time. Plus, they often have friends in the car. Passengers are a distraction, especially for less experienced drivers.
With more than 12 young people losing their lives in car crashes each day, more than suicide and homicide combined, we are facing a national crisis.
DriveitHOME, an initiative of the National Safety Council, is an invaluable resource. Not only does it offer tips to keep your teens safe but it is also a forum where parents can share ideas. A driving agreement and more information can also be found on TeenDrivingAAA.com.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, contact a Long Island personal injury lawyer at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.