Three Prom Night Issues to Discuss with Your Teen
If you’re a parent with teenagers you know that the prom is a special night for your teen, and while you want them to have a fun and memorable night with their friends, you also want to make sure they stay safe. If your teen is driving on prom night or riding with a friend who is driving, here are three things to discuss with your teen before the big night:
1. Driving under the influence.
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, with one third of those deaths being alcohol related, according to the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Avoiding situations with alcohol and drug use is the best way to avoid driving under the influence or riding with someone who is under the influence. If necessary make arrangements to have a designated driver or call someone else for a ride. There are no consequences that are worse than injuring or killing yourself or others.
2. Distracted Driving.
According to the FCC, distracted driving accounted for 16% of all fatal crashes in 2008 and 21% of accidents involving injuries. Distractions can include texting, talking on the phone and even scrolling through a playlist on an MP3 player. If your teen is going to be in a car on prom night, remind them that no text or phone call is worth injuring or killing themselves, their passengers and others on the road. If they need to call or text someone for directions or to let them know they’re on their way, tell them to pull into a parking lot or a safe area along the road with plenty of room between the vehicle and moving traffic.
3. Passenger Safety.
Tell your teen that as a driver, they have a responsibility for the passengers in the vehicle. Make sure everyone has their seatbelts on before leaving and during all trips. A driver should make sure that passengers don’t lean out of windows, throw things from a moving vehicle or engage in other horseplay. Remind your teen to never transport more passengers than there are seatbelts- an overcrowded vehicle is not a safe vehicle.
Taking a Limo?
Some parents and teens opt to use a limousine service for prom night transportation. The National Limousine Association offers the following tips for parents:
- Ask the transportation company for the Prom Promise. This is a document that teens sign in agreement of not drinking or taking drugs on prom night. Many limousine and chauffeured transportation companies offer this contract as a way to help parents address the importance of safety on prom with their teens.
- Give the transportation company a curfew. That’s right; the chauffeur will abide by any rules you set forth, and will make sure to pick up and drop off your kids at a designated hour. This is a great way ensure your kids make it home on time, no excuses.
- Set some ground rules. As the parent, you have the right to tell the transportation company what will and will not be tolerated in the vehicle. For example, you can ask that the chauffeur keep the privacy screen down for the entire ride, so that he/she has a full grasp of what your kids are up to. If any of your rules are broken, the chauffeur can turn the car around and bring your kids home.
If you’re a parent whose teenager is getting ready for the prom, talk with your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent about how your insurance coverage works with your teen, and make sure your teen understands the rules you set for them.