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Prom and graduation season is deadly for teen drivers


AAA urges high school students to take the AAA PROMise; asks high schools for support

From AAA

Impaired and distracted driving can be a deadly part of Prom and Graduation Season and AAA wants to change that. The Auto Club Group is activating its AAA PROMise program to prevent teens from making a fatal mistake. PROMise Logo.jpg

“Impairment, distraction and inexperience can make for a very dangerous concoction behind the wheel,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Even if prom looks different this year, due to the pandemic, history has proven that high schoolers will find a way to party. It’s critical for parents and teachers to take time to discuss the dangers of impaired and distracted driving and to develop a plan for getting teens home safely.”

What is the AAA PROMise?

AAA provides free impaired and distracted driving educational materials for schools that participate in the program. In the first two weeks, more than 75 Florida schools have requested a free toolkit. Schools can receive their free kit by visiting AAA.com/Promise.

AAA PROMise encourages teens and their parents to talk about the dangers of driving impaired - from alcohol, marijuana or any other drug – as well as distracted driving. This includes having a plan for a safe way home during prom and graduation season.

Teens should promise to:

  • Not drink alcohol or take drugs
  • Not drive impaired or distracted
  • Not let their friends drive impaired or distracted
  • Get home safely or call their parents for help.

Parents should also promise to make their children feel safe about calling them for help.

Sobering Statistics

  • Crashes are still the leading cause of teen deaths
  • Almost one of every five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking (2016)
  • Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involved drunk drivers

Florida’s legal limit for blood alcohol level in drivers is .08 percent. For drivers younger than 21, it’s .02 percent. That means teens can be charged with “driving under the influence” after having only one drink.

Even if an impaired teen driver survives a deadly crash, they could still face legal charges that change their life forever.

(Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Advice for Teen Drivers

  • Pay Attention. Texting and having other passengers in the vehicle can create dangerous distractions for drivers.
  • Slow Down. Speeding is a factor in one-third of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
  • Stay Alert. Prom celebrations can carry well into the late hours. Avoid driving drowsy.
  • Buckle Up. Half of young drivers who die in motor vehicle crashes are not wearing their seat belts.
  • Drive Sober. If you become impaired, pass the keys to a sober driver or call your parents for help.

Advice for Parents

  • Hire a ride. Limousines are not just for looks. Consider chipping in on a chauffeur so teens don’t have to decide who’s driving.
  • Set the Rules. Establish rules for your teen driver which address safe driving habits and the punishment for breaking them. Consider signing a Parent-Teen driving agreement.
  • Open your Home. Encourage your teen to ask friends to spend the night to keep them off the roads.
  • Be the Example. While driving, model the same behavior you expect from your kids when they drive. Your kids are always watching you, even if they don’t admit it.

AAA, Parents, Prom, Prom Season, Promise, Statistics, Teen drivers, Teenagers, Transportation


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