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Teen Driving Safety During Prom Season

While prom should be a time of celebration, it can quickly be marred by a tragic teen car accident. Therefore, we would like to join the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in reminding all students and parents that safety behind the wheel is especially important on prom night.

As we have previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, teens are particularly susceptible to crashes. Based on miles driven, the fatality rate for drivers aged 16 to 19 is four times higher than for older, more experienced drivers. The National Young Driver Survey also states that 20 percent of eleventh grade drivers reported at least one crash over the past year.

“Studies show that most incidents involving young drivers stem from inexperience, rather than deliberately risky behavior. Teens simply don’t have the time behind the wheel to know how to respond quickly to outside dangers,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “Add on prom night with possible underage drinking, lack of using seat belts, cell phones, and a bunch of teens in one car increases these hazards for many and puts them at greater risk.”

In order to make sure prom is a safe and fun evening, OTS recommends taking the following safety tips into consideration when planning prom night:

  • Never, under any circumstances, let someone who’s been drinking be a driver. Take the initiative and arrange a sober ride home or have them sleep at a safe place for the night. Parents, a taxi, or sober friends are all safe alternatives.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and make sure everyone else in the car does, too.
  • When driving, pay attention to the road. Silence cell phones, ask passengers to avoid distracting the driver, and concentrate on getting safely to and from the destination.
  • Bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes to use while driving to avoid driving in heels or bulky dress shoes.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.