Teen Driving Safety Tips for Prom and Graduation
April, May and June are the time of the year where high school students attend prom and graduation parties. These rites of passage are important celebratory times, but parents know that prom and graduation also represent a transition into adulthood that provide ample opportunities for their teens to make unwise choices. But it also provides a great opportunity for parents to start conversations about the dangers of mixing alcohol, driving and peer pressure.
Vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 18 years old, according to the National Safety Council. Topping the list of dangers for teens drivers include intoxication, not using the seat belt, distracted driving and speeding. Unfortunately, these dangers tend to become more of a problem around this time of year.
While most parents have likely already warned their teens about the dangers of drinking and driving, we suggest that you take this time to talk to your kids about what to expect on prom and graduation nights, and please follow these safety tips:
- Limit Distracted Driving
This involves reminding your teen driver not to text or talk on the phone while on the road. You can do this by requiring them to turn the phone off or put it in the glove compartment while they are behind the wheel. Also, limit the number of passengers in a teen-driven car.
- Know Who Is Driving
The night of prom or graduation, who will be driving? Your child? A friend? A parent? An older sibling? Give your teen enough money to cover a cab or Uber home in case their planned ride home is unsafe. Let them know that finding an alternative ride home is an option.
- Have the Talk
Talk about not drinking or doing drugs and set strict rules against doing so. While this may seem obvious, it is important to stress these rules to your teen and let them know that they can text to you if they find themselves in a peer pressure or otherwise unsafe environment.
- Set and Maintain a Curfew
Setting a reasonable time for your teen to be home is especially important during these festive activities. If they ask for a later curfew during the night, be sure to ask questions about where they are, who they are with and when they will be home.
- No Hotel Rooms Without Adult Supervision
The recent trend has been to rent a hotel room for teens to hang out in after prom or graduation. However, this often leads to drinking, drug use and sexual activity. Make sure there is constant adult supervision if a hotel room is an option for your teen and be sure to get the contact information for the adult in charge.
Prom and graduation are special times in a teen’s life. With just a little common sense, you can make sure your young adult returns home safely after a fun night of memories.