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Prom Night Safety Pt. 2

May 19, 2023

Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Cathey Bach, an RN at UHC, talks about prom night tips that can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.

1). How Common is driving under the influence for teens?

While it is illegal to drink alcohol or drive after drinking alcohol for people under 21 years old, 2020 data revealed that 29% of drivers, ages 15–20, who were killed in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking.

Alcohol is the most used substance among young people in the U.S. Findings from a 2019 survey show that among high school students: 29% drank alcohol, 14% binge drank, 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, and 5% drove after drinking alcohol.

Next to alcohol, marijuana is the most common drug associated with impaired driving. Among U.S. high school students who drove, about 13% drove when they had been using marijuana.

2). Is there an increased risk of driving at night and during the weekend?

Studies show that the fatal crash rate at night among teen drivers (ages 16–19 years) is about three times as high as that of adult drivers (ages 30–59 years) per mile driven. In fact, 44% of motor vehicle crash deaths among teens ages 13–19 occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and 50% occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

3). How can a teen practice safe driving?

Pay Attention: Distracted driving, especially texting or using social media while driving, is common among younger drivers. Passengers can also be a distraction in the car. Of the 3,166 people killed in distraction-related crashes in 2017, 229 were teens aged 15 to 19.

  • Slow Down: Speeding was a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
  • Buckle Up: Roughly half of the young drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 were not wearing seat belts. Remember to buckle up every time you drive and ask your passengers to do the same.
  • Drive Sober: It is illegal for people under the age of 21 to consume alcohol; therefore, it is illegal to drink and drive.

Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,522 lives in 2021. This prom season, use caution when driving to help you and your friends have a safe and fun night. For more information on Prom Night Safety, please visit

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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