CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 1, 2019) – For many, prom and graduation are two of the most memorable events of high school and AAA Carolinas urges teens and parents to put traffic safety on the top of their to-do lists this season.
“Prom and graduation can be exciting moments in a teen’s life, but sometimes that excitement can lead to poor decision making and cause common sense to take a back seat,” said Tiffany Wright, President of AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “These events should be a celebration as the school year comes to a close and shouldn’t be associated with tragedy.”
A recent AAA survey revealed that nearly 40% of teens aged 16 to 19 admit they or their friends would likely be under the influence of drugs or alcohol sometime during prom or graduation.
“What’s sad is that teens are likely to drive impaired instead of calling a parent or guardian to avoid getting into trouble and that can have dangerous consequences,” added Wright. “To increase their chances of arriving home safely, parents must have open discussions with their teens about the risks of impaired driving and agree on a plan beforehand.”
AAA Carolinas offers a few helpful tips for prom night and graduation celebrations:
- Talk with your teens about the dangers of drinking and driving and driving distracted.
- Make sure you know where your teen is going before and after the prom.
- Don’t allow too many prom-goers into one vehicle; more passengers lead to more distractions.
- Encourage them to call you if they get into trouble without fear of strict consequences. Many teens admit they won’t reach out because they are scared of how their parents will react and what the punishment will be.
- Be prepared to deal with the pressures that come with the responsibility of driving. Stay focused, obey traffic safety laws and don’t drive distracted.
- Commit to staying sober – it is an event to remember.
- If you are a passenger, respect the driver and allow them to dedicate their full attention to the road.
- If you find yourself in a situation where drinking has occurred, do not drive and do not get in a vehicle with someone who has. Don’t be afraid to call your parents.
- Always buckle up no matter where you are seated. Many teens admit to not buckling up because they don’t want to wrinkle their dress or suit.
- Take a pair of comfortable shoes to change into for driving; certain footwear (fancy high heels or bulky dress shoes) can make reaching the pedals difficult.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.2 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
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