Thousands of high school students are getting ready to celebrate two of the most memorable events of high school – prom and graduation. However, these occasions can bring deadly consequences to those who participate in underage drinking and illegal drug use.
According to a survey conducted in January 2018 by AAA and its Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, 39% 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 season.
AAA PROMise, a program offered by the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, aims to reduce the dangers of impaired driving by providing high schools, teens and parents with communication tools that can help prevent tragedies on these special occasions.
“For many, prom and graduation are among the highlights of high school,” said Amy Stracke, Managing Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group and executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. “These events should be a time for celebrating and looking forward to the future - not defined by tragedy.”
AAA PROMise encourages teens and their parents to talk about the dangers of underage drinking, illegal drug use and impaired driving. This includes having a plan for a safe way home during prom and graduation season. Should the teen be in danger of driving impaired or riding with someone who may be impaired, parents can pick their teen up and AAA will tow the family car home free of charge, AAA member or not.
“Teens admit they are likely to drive impaired instead of calling their parent/guardian for help so they avoid getting into trouble,” said Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “When parents and teens can speak openly about the dangers of impaired driving and agree on a plan beforehand, it greatly increases their chance of getting home safely.”
Free AAA PROMise toolkits are available to high schools interested in helping protect their students from the dangerous consequences of impaired driving. For more information on AAA PROMise or for high schools to order their free toolkit, please visit www.AAA.com/promise.
The 2018 AAA Teen Survey was conducted online among teens ages 16 - 19 living in The Auto Club Group territory from January 5-12, 2018. A total of 1,000 teens completed the survey. Results have a margin of error of ± 3.1 percentage points. Total survey responses are weighted by gender and the state teen population to ensure reliable and accurate representation of teens in The Auto Club Group territory.