With the end of the school year in sight, many teenagers in Kentucky will be celebrating by attending the prom and, perhaps, also going to parties to celebrate their graduation from high school.
While this is and should be a joyous occasion, it is sadly also a time in which teens frequently choose to ignore the state's laws against underage drinking and have a few alcoholic beverages.
According to one study, between about 30% to 40% of teens ages 16 to 19 will use drugs or alcohol on prom night or will at least have a peer who chooses to do so. A separate study suggested that of those teens who do choose to drink, over half would have at least 4 alcoholic beverages, which is more than enough to make someone too drunk to drive.
These decisions come with consequences. Statistics suggest that prom and graduation season are dangerous times to be on the road, particularly for teenage drivers. In fact, about 1 in 3 teen fatalities on the roads of this country happen between April and June, the time during which most proms and graduation parties occur.
Nevertheless, teenagers do not seem to fully appreciate the risk. Only 1 in 5 of juniors and seniors, 20%, surveyed in another study expressed concern about driving on prom night. On the other hand, 6% of teens studied said that they had gotten behind the wheel after having too much alcohol at an after-prom party.
With prom and graduation season in full swing, teenage drivers in Kentucky need to remember to drive responsibly and to avoid drugs and alcohol. Should they fail to do so, their victims may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim.
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