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Teenage car accidents and graduation time

As spring approaches, high school students in the United States will celebrate proms and high school graduations. Some people believe that the season of celebration comes with a rite of passage that includes the use of alcohol even with parental supervision. As a result, the time of celebration can turn dangerous and deadly as the number of car accidents caused by drinking and driving increases during the spring months.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration car accidents related to alcohol increase during the spring months of April, May and June, which are also the time of year when most proms and graduations occur. Another sobering figure is that car accidents are the leading cause of the death for teenagers in the United States, and nearly 40 percent of teenage car accidents are caused by drinking and driving. Therefore parents and teenagers should have a talk about expectations during the season of celebration to prevent alcohol related car accidents and other preventable dangers.

Research demonstrates that open and regular communication between parents and teenagers positively affects the decisions teenagers make. Accordingly, teenagers who have parents who set expectations are less likely to engage in drinking, drug use and sexual behavior. According to the National Institutes of Health the part of the brain that regulates risky behavior is not fully formed until age 25 and heavy alcohol consumption before that age can create negative long-term effects. Therefore even though parents feel they can protect teens in a supervised environment the use of alcohol can still lead to danger.

Source: Courierpress.com, "Prom, graduation season accelerates dangers of underage drinking, drugs," Nichole White, 4/4/11

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