Each year, spring school rituals - prom and graduation - begin with so much excitement and promise yet end in tragedy for hundreds of teen drivers and their passengers. New research from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) suggests this season could be no different. According to a national survey of more than 2,500 eleventh and twelfth graders, 90 percent of teens believe their counterparts are more likely to drink and drive on prom night and 79 percent believe the same is true for graduation night. Yet, that belief does not translate to concern, as only 29 percent and 25 percent of teens say that driving on prom night and graduation night, respectively, comes with a high degree of danger.
There were 380 teen alcohol-related traffic deaths during prom and graduation season (April, May and June) in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports 1,009 total teen fatalities (alcohol and non-alcohol-related) in motor vehicle crashes during those same months in 2008.