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Car Accidents

Prom Season Heightens Teen Driving Risks

Students throughout South Carolina are seeing firsthand the dangers of drunk driving this April. WCSC reports that mock accidents are being set up at local high school events to teach teens the risks associated with driving drunk on prom night. The program, called “Operation Prom Promise,” mimics the real-life aftermath of a drunk driving collision with 911 being called, emergency responders treating victims, and a mock DUI trial following the fake collision.

The goal of Operation Prom Promise is to encourage young people to make smart choices on prom night and avoid getting behind the wheel while impaired. Prom season is, unfortunately, a high-risk time for young people and is the kickoff to a season in which teens are at the greatest risk of becoming involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident.

Prom Season, Summer Vacation Signal Rise in Collisions

The Huffington Post reports that as many as 70 percent of juniors and seniors in high school assume that their peers will be drinking and driving on prom night. This creates a lot of peer pressure and could lead to bad choices by prom attendees. Unfortunately, many of these teens are right that their peers will be drinking, as alcohol remains a leading cause of collisions for motorists between the ages of 15 and 20.

While prom season is especially dangerous, prom is just one of many times over the spring and summer months when young people could injure themselves or others in a car crash. The National Safety Council (NSC) has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” because there is a significant increase in the number of teenagers who perish in collisions during June, July and August.

The increase in wrecks can be explained by teenagers driving intoxicated during prom season or after graduation parties, as well as by the fact that young people may spend their summer vacation driving around with friends with limited supervision.

Unfortunately, teenagers who make dangerous choices during prom and the summer season don’t just endanger themselves. They also put their passengers at risk, and could hurt other motorists.

A teen that causes a collision can be sued by another driver whose vehicle was involved in the accident, or by a pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicycle rider who was hurt in a crash.

Teenagers can also be sued by passengers in their vehicle with them at the time of the wreck. For example, if an intoxicated teen driver’s negligence leads to injuries or kills a friend riding in a vehicle, that friend or his/her parents could take legal action and pursue monetary damages from the drunk driver.

Victims of collisions with teen drivers shouldn’t hesitate to pursue a claim for damages. Teens must have auto insurance just as adults are required to, and it is the insurer who actually pays out the damage claim. A South Carolina car accident lawyer can help victims negotiate with an insurance company or go to court to obtain damages after a crash during prom season and during the 100 Deadliest Days.

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