Help Your Teen Keep Prom & Graduation Safe!
High school is full of defining moments for teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation. However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
I know you want to make this season one to celebrate for your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe. (You probably already know these things, but you can use this post as a check-list.) Remind your teen that these suggestions come from NHTSA – they’re dedicated to keeping all of us safer.
First, ask your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:
- Absolutely no alcohol
- Always use seat belts
- No cell phone use (including texting) while driving
Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your teen’s plans well before each event, letting them know there are a few things they can do to make a good time a safe time.
- Ask for the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.
- Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.
- Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.
- Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case. Let them know they have options and what they are.
- Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.
If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver.
Prom and graduation are special times in a teen’s life. A little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.
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