For high school college students in Tennessee and across the country, May is a significant month. Final exams, summer job plans, and of course end-of-the-year parties may all take place in a short span of 31 days. High school students may have the added social pressure of prom. Regardless of the party, young drivers will have to confront the issue of driving.
Many will take a preventive approach, making alternate transportation plans. However, a recent statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that many are making unsafe choices that may result in impaired driving and car accidents. Specifically, federal data indicates that almost one-quarter of teenagers will drive drunk or under the influence of a controlled substance.
The high percentage of offenders may be a result of incorrect perceptions. According to a survey by a chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving, nearly 40 percent of the teenagers interviewed did not agree that alcohol, marijuana or other illegal drugs posed a safety risk to their ability to drive.
To fight that misperception, at least one Tennessee student group has launched a safety campaign in the form of a skit. The student actors dressed up like bloodied prom dates that had been thrown from cars. Several draped themselves across car hoods, adopting mangled poses for dramatic effect. The twist came when real-life emergency personnel treated the student actors.
Although a jury might agree that impaired driving is clearly negligent and entitles a crash victim to compensation, such a recovery might seem like a hollow victory to the actual victim. Hopefully, safety campaigns will make an impact and convince students to make responsible choices in this year’s prom season.
Source: tricities.com, "Drill held to help curb drinking during prom season," James Shea, April 23, 2013