Driving Safety Tips for Parents During Prom Season
Prom season is a tough time for parents. They want their teens to have fun and enjoy their high school years, but they also have some legitimate fears. During every prom and graduation season, we read news stories about young people who have been killed in alcohol or drug-related driving incidents. At El Dorado Collision Center, many of us are parents too, so we're hyper aware of the fact that proms and end-of-the-year school celebrations can go wrong if handled improperly.
The first thing to remember is that parents and teens alike have to assume their share of the responsibility. As long as they can both agree that proms, graduation parties and end-of-school festivities can be a dangerous time for teens to be on the road, that is a good starting point.
Based on numbers provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2012, 23% of drivers ages 15-20 involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents were drinking.
So, for those with teens driving around Poway, here are some helpful tips for them and their parents during this potentially dangerous time of the school year:
Start it With a Conversation
You've probably already talked to your teen about safe driving, but it's always a good time to re-visit the topic. Start the conversation by reminding your son or daughter that you love him or her, and want them to have a great time without getting crazy. Be honest about how serious you and transparent about what is and is not acceptable, and be ready to set limits accordingly.
Use Available Resources
In spring, high schools, communities and law enforcement agencies host awareness events that deliver strong and direct reminders to party-bound students. One of these events is called "Every 15 Minutes," a national program that uses staged accidents, mock court sessions and student "deaths" at high schools to remind students of the potentially tragic consequences of impaired driving. These programs have proven to be an effective way for parents to initiate conversation with their teens. Similar initiatives include "wrecked vehicle" displays or mock car accidents. Discuss these events with your teen, who may be left shaken by the graphic stories or images.
Provide a Ride
Don't try to evade the problem by offering to drive your teens to events. By senior year, no one wants to be driven around by their parents. For less formal events, consider asking a sensible, college-age sibling to drive. Just make sure the driver won't decide to join the party. And always make sure that your child knows he can always call you for a ride at any time.
If you can talk openly with your teenage driver, prom and graduation season doesn't need to scare or stress out wither parents or kids. At El Dorado Collision Center, we want all high school juniors and seniors here in Poway and throughout the state of CA to drive safely and think twice before drinking and getting behind the wheel.
Sources: CDC, Every 15 Minutes and MSN