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Safety first for prom and graduation season


Mon, May 6th 2024 07:00 am

AAA reminds teen drivers to make a PROMise

By AAA of Western and Central New York

It’s prom season across Western and Central New York, which means more teen drivers will be out and about. While prom is a celebration and a rite of passage, it can be a dangerous night on the roads. AAA is reminding teens, parents and educators to plan ahead to prevent prom and graduation season from turning deadly.

“Prom and graduation season is a special time when there’s so much to celebrate,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “Unfortunately, it can become particularly dangerous when the party spills out onto the road. AAA is reminding students and parents to take precautions to help prevent any potential tragedies this season.”

AAA asks teens to PROMise to plan ahead and stay safe:

√ I promise not to drive impaired or distracted.

√ I promise not to let my friends drive impaired or distracted.

√ I promise my parents I will get home safely or call them for help.

By making a PROMise, teens can prevent substance-impaired driving, as well as distracted driving. Parents also have an important role to play by making their children feel safe about calling them for help. Parents can PROMise that they will always pick up their teen regardless of the time or location.

Driving impaired can carry lifechanging consequences. Teens could lose their academic eligibility, driver’s license, even their life or that of their friends. According to the CDC, teens are more likely than anyone else to be killed in an alcohol-related crash (even though the minimum legal drinking age in every state is 21).

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. 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 recommends enrolling teens in a driver education program. Learn more at www.AAA.com/safedriving.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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