Maine Traffic Safety Watch: Prom and Graduation Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teens

Our teens are gearing up for prom and graduation season and they’re looking forward to closing out their high school career. What they might not be thinking too much about is their safety on our roadways — especially with the dangers of drinking and driving.
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Our teens may not be able to legally purchase or consume alcohol, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t or they won’t. That’s why officials with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are here to help parents and guardians to get the conversation started about safe driving and a safe prom and graduation season. It’s all a part of April’s Alcohol Awareness Month.

Our Portland accident lawyers understand that the number one cause of death for teens across the country is car accidents. USA TODAY reports that compared with a sober driver of the same age, a driver 16 to 20 years old with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent is estimated to be more than 30 times as likely to die in a single-vehicle crash and close to 15 times as likely to be in a crash in which someone else dies.

One of the most beneficial things you can do to help to keep your teen safe, aside from talking with them regularly about roadway dangers, is to make sure you know where your teen is and who they’re with. You want to make sure you have household rules, limits and consequences for breaking these regulations. Consider talking to the parents of your teen’s friends to make sure that everyone is one the same page. You need to know what your teen does after school, at night, and on weekends and with whom they’re doing it.

It all boils down to the fact that our young ones can be reckless and impulsive. Even smart teens with a good head on their shoulders will sometimes make impulsive, poor choices. Peer pressure can overcome their good sense. That’s why it’s important to talk with your teen about different situations that they may find themselves in through prom and graduation season. Talk with them about peer pressure and how to get out of drinking without losing their cool. Practice these conversations with your teen. You’re going to want to help to make sure that they’re prepared for every situation that high school can throw at them.

Lastly, you want to make sure that you’re setting a good example for the young drivers in your family. Sometimes as parents we underestimate the importance of the example we set for our kids and think it doesn’t matter much. But there is good evidence that it does matter. With your help, we can keep our teens safe out there, through graduation and beyond.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an alcohol-related accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-804-2004.

More Blog Entries:

New App Aims to Deter Drunk Driving & Stop Car Wrecks, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, March 20, 2013

Victim Demands Stricter Sentences for Drunk Driving in Bangor, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2012