Though we recognized this month-long campaign at Leland & Gray by sharing information via a bulletin board on the middle school level, we forgot to blog about it! Among high school students at Leland & Gray, more than 26% rode in the car with a drinking driver “in the past 30 days” and 28% rode with someone who had been smoking marijuana “in the past 30 days” (YRBS 2015). Though I’m sure I don’t have to go over the potential consequences of such a decision (DUI, car crash, injury, etc), I do feel that it is important to reiterate that impaired driving is dangerous – both to the passengers and to others on the road! Let these stats be a reminder that our students ARE using and they ARE getting into cars with impaired drivers. At a recent dialogue amongst youth and parents at our school, high schoolers were asked why they might decide to get in a car with an impaired driver. The majority of students said that they would do so because they didn’t want to involve their parents. This could perhaps be a dinner time talking point between family members. Do you have a plan for such a scenario?

Another statistic of note is that less than 10% of our high school students drove after drinking “in the past 30 days” and 16% smoked marijuana while driving “in the past 30 days” (YRBS). Some people believe that driving while high is safer than driving drunk, but using marijuana and driving has its own risks, including slow reaction time, impaired judgment of time and distance, and a decrease coordination (drugabuse.gov).

Lastly, 20% of high school students texted and drove “in the past 30 days” (YRBS). Texting is another form of “impaired” or distracted driving. The number of crashes resulting from texting and driving has increased significantly in recent years. Many have pledged to keep phones put away while driving and we think you should too!

For more info/facts on drugged driving visit the The National Institute on Drug Abuse

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