Deadliest season for teen drivers sparks safety initiatives - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Deadliest season for teen drivers sparks safety initiatives

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A fine at best, and a deadly crash at worst is what distracted drivers could encounter as agencies across the country crack down on the dangerous habit.

Alabama troopers spent the past week cracking down on texting and driving through their U-Drive, U-Text, U-Pay campaign. Now AAA officials are working to prevent drunk driving as prom season is in full swing. 
 

 You might say Hardaway senior Tyler Boynton has a good start to making smart decisions as he preps for this weekend's prom. "It's mostly what the lady wants," Boynton explained. "Shoes, make sure you get your hair cut, groomed, make sure you got money."
 
However he says the most important choice of all will be to end the special night safely, not stumbling around like he did walking with drunk-goggles on.
 
"It was very dizzy. At first I thought I could do it but then my mind played tricks on me with the goggles so I really couldn't see and then after a while I messed up," Boynton stated. 

The AAA simulation aimed to show students just how dangerous driving while intoxicated can be. It began with a sound effect saying, "Hey thanks for taking me home, are you sure you're okay to drive?"
 
The answer should always be yes, but isn't always the case. AAA research shows 41 percent of teens plan on consuming alcohol between prom night and graduation. 

"Unfortunately many of the celebrations during prom season do include under aged drinking."Lourdes Colon said, with AAA.
 
It's staggering research that has resulted in April, May and June being the deadliest months on the road for teens.

"The sad part is that those same teenagers who were surveyed when we asked them 'How are you going to get home?' they said, 84 percent said, that they would rather risk their life behind the wheel rather than call home for mom and dad," Colon said. 

The simulation can end with crashing or getting pulled over by an officer. Organizers say you can never win, just like in real life. AAA is offering free towing for families who need to pick up an intoxicated teen during prom festivities. They remind everyone to buckle up as well.

Officials say that underage drinking is illegal, but it's better to call for a safe ride than get behind the wheel.

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