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Don’t let drunk driving ruin the fun of prom night and graduation

Date: 04.18.2011
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar Phone: (330) 375-4930

Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930, Email: farquharj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, April 18, 2011 – Prom night and graduation are exciting times for Akron-area high school students who will spend hours getting ready, document the party on Facebook and Twitter, and, statistically, consume more alcohol than at any other time of the year. Each year, thousands of teens are killed or injured in traffic crashes as a result of underage drinking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In addition to the safety concerns, underage drinking can result in adult consequences. Violators of underage drinking laws often face a trip to jail, the loss of their driver’s license and other unanticipated expenses including attorney fees, court costs and fines. Plus, there is the added embarrassment and potential consequences related to academic eligibility, college acceptance and scholarship awards.

The NHTSA encourages parents to set ground rules for their teenage drivers and to:

  • Talk to their teens about the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving.
  • Limit nighttime driving and control the number of teenage passengers in the vehicle.
  • Insist on seat belts at all times and in all seating positions. Low seat belt use is one of the primary reasons that teen driver and passenger fatality and injury rates remain high.
  • Ban the use of electronic devices, including cell phones, while driving.
  • Know their State’s Graduated Driver Licensing laws. Graduated driver licensing is a system designed to phase-in young beginning drivers to full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.

The national Stop-Loss Arrive Tour is presenting information to students at North High School in Akron in May 18, and a wrecked vehicle will be placed in front of the school the week of prom. For more information, visit http://www.dwiprevention.org/.

There have been four traffic-related fatalities in Summit County this year, and one was in the 16 to 25 age-group. During the first three months of 2010, there were eight traffic fatalities and two of these were young people between the ages of 16 and 25.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook a twww.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.

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