May and June is the time of year where high school students celebrate by attending proms and graduation parties. As these times of celebration near, it provides a great opportunity for families to have conversations about celebrating safe as their teen drivers get behind the wheel.
Automobile crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers. With May being Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, this time of year provides a great opportunity for families to talk about the following tips for being safe on the roadways.
- Connect with other parents- Speak directly with any parents supervising after parties your teen will attend since some parents may allow underage drinking.
- Talk about NOT drinking/doing drugs- 74% of kids turn to their parents for guidance on drinking. Talk to your teen about dealing with peer pressure, the dangers/repercussions of underage drinking and driving, using illegal substances, and contacting you for a ride in situations involving drugs and alcohol.
- Offer options for rides- If a group insists on traveling together to prom and numerous graduation parties, talk to other parents about hiring a limo. That way no one gets behind the wheel. If a limo is not in the budget, offer to drive them yourself, or research other transportation options in your community.
- Have the party come to you- Plan your own, adult-supervised, drug/alcohol free after-party at your house, school or local community center.
- Set the example- You can’t always be in the car, but you can keep safety top-of-mind by demonstrating and enforcing habits like wearing a seat belt, not using cell phones while driving, following the speed limit and driving 2N2 (2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel).
- Groom before you zoom- Before it’s time to go, take one last look in the mirror and make sure you’re looking good so nothing takes tour focus off the road while driving.
- Get your beauty rest- Since many parties last until early morning, make sure you get plenty of sleep, or ask your parents to pick you up so you and your friends don’t have to drive tired.
- Set limits- Put a limit on the number of friends you ride with. The risk of fatal crashes increases with each passenger. And if riding with friends, remind them to put their phones away and turn the music down.
- Don’t drink/do drugs and drive- Drinking before the age 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix no matter your age. This goes for using drugs and other illegal substances as well.
- Seatbelts are the perfect accessory- A little wrinkle in your dress, tux or graduation gown is hardly worth not buckling up for. Buckling your seatbelt can save your life and keep you from getting seriously injured. Plus, It’s the law.