WTVM Editorial: 04/16/18: Season Safety Prom

(WTVM) - Every year, AAA says one-third of teenagers who die in alcohol-related fatalities die during the months of April, May and June, the peak of prom and graduation season.

That's a statistic experts hope will scare teens and make them think twice about using alcohol and drugs on their big prom night.

That same study says 75 percent of teenagers admit to facing peer pressure about drinking, with about half of those actually giving in to alcohol or drugs on prom night.

One in five teens admits to riding in a car with an impaired driver.

As frightening as those statistics are, we all know teenagers think they're invincible.

So, school districts like Eufaula go to great lengths to give them a realistic demonstration of where bad decisions on prom night can lead…and it isn't pretty.

The annual "Prom Promise" scenario was acted out for juniors and seniors at Eufaula High School last week, in gory detail.

The scenario showed a realistic portrayal of what can happen when you drive drunk even one time.

The Barbour County Coroner's office was there, along with a medical helicopter team and rescue crews, donating their expertise to hammer home the dark side of prom night.

Scare tactics can make a big impression. But so can deeper parent involvement before the big night.

If you or a group of parents can afford it, getting together to hire a limo can ensure none of the teens in your group will get behind the wheel themselves.

If you can't afford it, make sure to give your teenager enough money to take a cab home.

Another good idea is to send your child a few texts, both in the days before and even during the big event.

Tell them how much you care about their life and safety. Remind them you trust them to do the right thing. A simple text on prom night telling them to have fun, but reminding them you will always come pick them up, is another idea.

Here's one last important statistic:

The teenagers who discuss the dangers of underage drinking with their parents, and learn why it's unacceptable, are 80 percent less likely to drink compared to their peers with more lenient parents.

Be that involved parent.

We want to be able to report that every teenager made it home safe and sound from their prom.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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