May 26, 2016

When graduation arrives, DUI accidents and fatalities go up. Studies have found that teens between the ages of 16-19 die at a rate of about 3,000 per year from accidents. Alcohol is involved in about a third of these, or 33 percent. On graduation night, though, alcohol is involved in 40 percent. Clearly, drinking and driving is more common around graduation, and the results are on the roads.

Other studies have found that about 33 percent of those who are under the legal drinking age — 21 — and who are killed in car accidents die during graduation season.

So, why is this such a problem? A lot of it is just the mentality that comes along with graduating. Students are excited to be done; many of them have been working hard to get through exams and stressed about graduation. They think they can finally relax without worrying about anything, and they’re not as careful as they should be.

In some cases, parents are involved. Drinking while under 21 may be illegal, but there are many graduation parties where this happens and the parents don’t supervise. Sometimes, parents may even provide the alcohol, thinking that this is a monumental day that proves that their child is now an adult. They can be more lax about the rules than they would be on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, plenty of people who did not drink anything are also killed in DUI accidents when they are hit by drunk drivers. If you’ve lost a loved one this way in Pennsylvania, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: College Binge Drinking, “Grad Night: The True Dangers of Drinking and Driving,” accessed May 26, 2016