Dangerous Time for Teen Drivers - KMSP-TV

Dangerous Time for Teen Drivers

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

We're right in the heart of the most dangerous months for teen drivers, the months between April and July. AAA recently did a survey with teenagers about underage drinking and some of the results are shocking.

84 percent of young drivers admitted, they would rather drive drunk, or get in the car with a friend who's been drinking, rather than call mom or dad. It's a sobering stat, which has AAA "promising" to step in.

All over Tucker High School, you'll see signs urging students to make smart choices. "We talk to our kids about, 'Your parent, they do not want to bury you. So do the right things and make good, sound decisions,'" explains Tucker High School Principal James Jackson.

April, May, June and July are the deadliest months for teen drivers with prom, graduation and summer celebrations. "We did a survey not too long ago and we asked the teenagers what their planning on doing between prom and graduation and 41 percent said they planned on getting 'hammered,'" says Lourdes Colon, Atlanta AAA Representative.

84 percent of the students surveyed also admitted they'd rather risk their life with a drunk driver, than call home for help. "The kid doesn't want to get in trouble so they'll take the risk of drinking of driving," 18 year old Tucker Senior Joseph Andrea states.

"About four years ago, I had to bury one of my students that was in car accident," recalls Principal Jackson. "I had to look at his mom at the service and it was very hard and it was very painful to look into a parent's eyes and know that they won't have their child with them ever again."

AAA is teaming up with local schools, encouraging young drivers to sign their "AAA Promise." The student promises to call home, instead of risk their life with a drunk driver. The parent promises to keep a level head and go pick up the teenager and AAA promises to tow the stranded vehicle home for free.

"We're having a three-part agreement here and we're focusing on that teenager getting home safely that night," adds Lourdes.

Another eye opening stat, teen drivers are five times more likely to crash when there are two or more passengers with them in the car.

"Students all over metro Atlanta, and the state: Just be careful. I know there are celebrations, you're going to do things you shouldn't do...but just be careful and don't get behind the wheel if you do those things," urges Principal Jackson.

High school students can make the "AAA Promise" by texting the word "promise" to 46786. AAA has a lot of resources for parents looking to connect with their teen driver. You can find them at www.teendriving.aaa.com

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