Impaired 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 from now through the end of the school year.
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 a teen be in danger of driving impaired or riding with someone who may be impaired, they can call their parents. Their parents can then pick them up and AAA will tow the family car home free of charge, AAA member or not. All the parent has to do is call 1-800-AAA-HELP and recognize that their teen made the right choice to reach out for help.
“None of this works unless parents and teens have real conversations about the dangers of impaired driving,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “When young drivers decide to celebrate with alcohol or drugs, the party can end very quickly. AAA hopes to save lives by educating students and making sure parents have a plan in place in case their teen can’t get home safely.”
Sobering Statistics (NHTSA):
· Teen drivers (15–19 years of age) have the highest rate of motor vehicle crashes among all age groups in the United States.
· On average, most American teenagers first consume alcohol at 14, which is shortly before the earliest age that most states will grant young drivers a learner’s permit.
· While teens 18 to 19 had the highest rates of alcohol-related crashes, 15-year-olds came in with the third-highest rate.
· Even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. In 2016, over two thousand people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels (BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL).
According to a AAA survey conducted last year:
· 39% of high school teens admit they or their friends would likely be under the influence of drugs or alcohol sometime during prom or graduation season.
· 87% of teens believe their peers are likely to drive impaired instead of calling their parent of guardian for help because they are afraid of getting in trouble.
· 23% of teens have ridden in a car with an impaired driver.
· 28% of teens have called their parents at least once to pick them up either because they or their ride was impaired.
· 83% of teens support a program that offers to tow the family vehicle home for free to avoid the risk of anyone driving impaired even when it means admitting to their parents or guardians that they’ve been drinking an/or using drugs.