Teen Driving Tips to Keep Prom and Graduation Safe
It’s that time of year again…Spring has sprung, dramatic “prom-posals” are being posted all over social media, and Senioritis is in full-swing as students are gearing up for some of the most defining moments of their high school careers; prom and graduation. If you’re a parent, it may be an emotional time of reflection, a joyous time of relief, or an uncomfortable time of fear over the more tragic defining moments that also plague this time of year—serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
At APIA Insurance, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.
1) Always encourage your teen to follow these three general safe-driving rules:
- Absolutely no drugs or alcohol
- Always use seat belts
- No cell phone use (including texting) while driving
2) Keep in mind that once upon a time, you were a teen, too.
Work to understand your kids in order to protect them. We were all kids once, so we know that kids don’t always follow the rules. As parents and family members, our primary concern is that our kids return to us safely. That being said, we should provide them with every outlet to make the best decisions possible. That means providing guidance for poor-decision prevention and also providing a reliable safety net if they find themselves in situations that they are not mature enough to properly handle on their own. Be there for your kids, so that they can be here, later.
*Consider extending a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.*
3) Lay out your expectations ahead of time, putting guidelines in place before your teen heads out for the night.
Here are some suggestions for ways communicate with your teen that will allow them the freedom and responsibility to enjoy the special circumstances related to prom and graduation, like dinner dates and parties before and after the events:
- Make sure you know 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 to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening (but try not to be overly-invasive).
- 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.
- Provide your child with money for a taxi, just in case.
- If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.
Prom and graduation are special times in a teen’s life. And just 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.
If you or your teen need auto insurance, contact APIA Insurance and we'd be glad to help get you the coverage you need! Also, if you have questions or concerns about insuring your teen as they head off to college, check out our blog about insurance tips for the college-bound.