Every spring is a time of celebration for older teens because with the end of the school year comes prom and graduation. Unfortunately, these milestones are often accompanied by car crashes, which are still the leading cause of teen deaths. Take the time now to prepare your teen drivers to be safe. Don’t assume that your otherwise smart 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds know better and trust they will act accordingly. Be the parental voice of reason in their head so they make the right decisions when it counts.
No Drinking and Driving
If you are a practical parent, you know there will be alcohol and drugs available to your teen at their prom parties and graduation gatherings. In a perfect world, they don’t touch the stuff. In reality, they probably will. Make sure they know that even one drop of alcohol means no driving – and that they are not to ride with anyone else who is driving drunk.
No Distracted Driving
Teens and their friends are joined at the hip. And even if their friends aren’t right beside them physically, they’re nearby on social media, texting, and other apps. Make sure your teen promises to limit distractions in their vehicle by only riding with one or two friends, if that, and promising not to use their phone while driving so they do not become involved in a distracted driving accident. Whatever is happening online can wait until they pull over or reach their destination.
Hire a Ride
Want to avoid the risks of your child making a poor decision on prom night or graduation? Get together with other likeminded parents and hire a limousine or Uber to chauffeur your kids around all night. No one will need to decide who’s driving and your teens will be safe with a sober driver.
Offer a Ride
If your child is out with friends, whether it’s a normal Friday night or a special occasion, and they have been drinking or are impaired in any way, let them know they should always feel safe about calling you for help and a ride. It doesn’t matter if they have the car or if they hitched a ride with someone who is now intoxicated. If they don’t feel safe, be the person they can depend on for help in that moment.
Establish Family Driving Rules
If you don’t already have family driving rules, now is the time to establish them – and practice them yourself. Your teen notices your driving behavior whether you like it or not, and they will mimic you, so be alert and make the right choices yourself:
- Wear your seatbelt
- Hands on the wheel
- Phone is put away while driving
- Obey speed limits
- Do not drive drowsy
- Do not drive after drinking
Review your family driving rules regularly to remind your teen of safe driving habits and their responsibilities behind the wheel.
Prevent Teen Driver Car Crashes
There are plenty of factors that contribute to teen driver auto accidents, including inexperience, distraction, and inebriation. Teens feel like they’re infallible and on top of the world, especially around prom and graduation, and they think that nothing bad will ever happen to them, but it can. Remind your teen that even if they do survive a car crash, the legal ramifications will not go away. Other people could be injured or killed because of their one poor decision.
Make this spring a season to remember because of all the good things happen and avoid the dangers. If you or your teen driver is involved in an auto accident, contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to discuss your case.