MADD and State Farm Applaud Teens and Their Choices to Not Ride with Underage Drinking Drivers as National Passenger Deaths Decline

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New PowerofYouth.com Website Empowers Youth to Continue to Make Safe Choices about Alcohol

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and National Presenting Sponsor State Farm® applaud the fact that more teens are making safe choices to not ride with underage drinking drivers, as the latest national statistics show a decline in passenger deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the number of 15-20-year-old passengers killed while riding with 15-20-year-old drivers with any measureable amount of alcohol decreased from 194 deaths in 2014 to 172 deaths in 2015.

“As a mother of an 18-year-old son killed by a 19-year-old driver who had been drinking and using drugs, I’m heartened that more teens are making the choice to not get in the car with an underage impaired driver,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “I am proud that our partnership with State Farm saves lives by educating middle and high school students about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking.”

On the heels of the positive trend, MADD and State Farm launched a new website, http://www.powerofyouth.com, as a part of Power of You(th) program’s activation in October. The program encourages teens to protect themselves and their friends by making a pledge to not drink alcohol under age 21 and to never ride with a drinking driver. Along with practical tips and eye-opening statistics about underage drinking, the website and teen booklet share real life stories about teens experiencing positive and negative consequences.

“State Farm is proud to support MADD and the Power of You(th) in their efforts to help keep teens safe," added Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. "We encourage teens to take a stand by sharing positive messages, engaging their high schools and friends, and helping to promote safe and healthy communities."

Research shows that teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year—more than all illegal drugs combined. Two out of three underage drinking deaths do not involve a vehicle. Research shows the stronger a student thinks friends will disapprove of riding with a drinking driver, the less likely the student will actually do it. Additionally, the earlier young people begin drinking (age 14-15), the more likely they will become drunk drivers and alcohol dependent as adults.

Visit the Power of You(th) teen site at http://www.powerofyouth.com. Throughout the month, teens will be encouraged to share #protecturfriends and #protecturselfie hashtags. For educators looking to bring Power of You(th) program to their schools, visit http://www.madd.org/powerofyouth.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD changed American culture by introducing the “designated driver” in 1986 and related red ribbon awareness campaign Tie One On For Safety® now in its 30th year. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is marking its 10th anniversary and reducing drunk driving fatalities by 25 percent since its launch. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, providing a service every four minutes through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Power of Parents® and Power of Youth® programs reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting http://www.madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

About State Farm®
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

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