Prom is an exciting time for many teens and a nerve-racking experience for parents who are concerned about the possibility of drunk driving car accidents. Many schools have combated drunk driving during prom by bringing in wrecked cars and even requiring teens to submit to breathalyzers in order to enter prom. An increased number of after-prom activities have also lessened the number of teen drunk driving incidents according to US News and World Report.
“I always say that there are a lot of tools in the toolkit that schools need to focus on,” the chairman of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) says. “I don’t think any one thing is going to make a huge dent, but together, they have a huge influence.”
A recent study by SADD indicates that approximately 6 percent of teens admit to driving drunk after prom. Although these numbers are still unacceptable, the study indicates that drunk driving is less now common during prom when compared to New Years’ Eve and summer breaks.
One problem in the fight against underage drinking and drunk driving is a misperception that many teens have regarding the number of their peers who drink.
“The problem is when you poll teenagers about the behavior of their peers, they tend to wildly over report. They will consistently tell you 95 percent of their peer group is drinking, when only 63 percent of middle school or high school students say they’ve used alcohol,” the SADD chairman says. He also added that teens are more likely to drink if they the majority of their peers do so.
Parents can effectively educate their teens on the reality of teen drinking and the dangers of drunk driving by bringing up the topic in a casual conversation. This avoids the “big talk” that turns many teens off. This will encourage teens to make the right decisions and hopefully enjoy their prom night without any unnecessary danger on the roads.