Memorial Day Signals Beginning of Teen Driving Season
Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, kicks off what is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen driving. From 2010 through 2014, during those 100 days, more than 5,000 people died in crashes involving teen drivers (AAA). Over the past five years, the average number of crashes involving drivers ages 16-19 increased 16% per day during the “100 deadliest days,” compared with other days of the year. The spike in crashes correlates with more teens driving during the summer for recreational purposes.
Spring is also the season for graduation parties where parents knowingly permit underage drinking in their homes. Perhaps these parents feel the dangers associated with underage drinking are lessened if it is done at a private home or in a contained setting with adult supervision. Some parents may consider a few beers at a graduation party to be an acceptable “rite of passage.”
The reality is that more than one-third of the year’s alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur around prom and graduation time. Not only are teens more likely to imbibe then, but they are driving in challenging circumstances. Nerves and excitement, running late to pick up a date, showing off for friends in the car, lack of sleep, or even wearing stiff-soled dress shoes or binding garb can tip the scales against inexperienced drivers.
Generally, under the Colorado social host laws, a party host cannot be held liable if someone drinks their alcohol and causes damages. But, there is an exception for providing alcohol to minors. If the “social host” knowingly served any alcoholic beverages to a person who is under the age of 21 years, they may be liable. In other words, if an adult serves alcohol to a minor, allows the minor to drink in the adult’s house, that adult could be held liable for any personal or property damage the minor might cause while under the influence.
The dangers associated with underage drinking are obvious. Yet, some parents willingly risk the safety of their children (and others) by furnishing alcohol or by not taking steps to adequately supervise the parties they host.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by underage drinking contact the experienced car accident injury lawyers at Bell & Pollock, P.C.