Help Keep Teen Drivers Safe During Prom

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Back view portrait of a young man talking on the phone and driving car

My daughter just turned sixteen a week ago and that means two things are coming up: driving and prom! As families are getting ready for prom this year, ordering flowers and shopping for dresses, it’s important to add the safe driver/safe rider conversation to the to do list. Below are just a few pointers from Dr. Gene Beresin, Senior Advisor on adolescent psychiatry with SADD and Executive Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Mass General Hospital:

  • Drive now, Snap later. Two out of three teens admit to using apps while driving.* Remind teens that using apps or taking photos while driving is just as dangerous as texting while driving. Phones should be kept out of sight to avoid potential distractions. 27 percent of teens today still report texting and driving. When asked to rank the driving behaviors they perceived to be most dangerous, looking at or posting to social media apps ranked much lower as compared to texting and driving or driving under the influence of alcohol, for example.
  • Extended curfews mean tired teens. After a long and exciting prom day, teens are bound to be tired. 36 percent of teens have taken measures to wake up (i.e., opening up the windows) when driving.* Remind teens to call for a ride if they’re too tired to drive home late at night, and reassure them that you will pick them up no matter what time it is.
  • Passengers on prom night. Energetic prom-goers can be distracting passengers. Speak with teens about how many friends they can drive with on prom night and remind them that distractions can come from inside the car too.
  • Talk with teens. Set clear expectations for prom night so your teen will stay safe and you can worry less. 

*Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) 2016 Teen Driving Study.

Liberty Mutual’s Teen Driving Contract acts as a conversation-starter and customized agreement for parents and teens to get on the same page this prom season.

One thing that I do, and will always tell my daughter, is that if she gets in trouble, I will ALWAYS come get her, consequence free.  Her safety is the most important thing!

How do you help teach your teenagers to drive safe?

Comments

  1. Terry says

    Another great post. I so remember these days when all of my girls were going to the prom. Now it is my children worrying about their teen children going to the prom.

  2. says

    Prom night can be absolutely terrifying to parents. I’m so glad that schools are now creating after and before parties to be safe places for teens to celebrate.

  3. Catvills says

    I had a talk with one of my kids about not giving in to peer pressure. I was noticing a change in his behavior so I had to nip it in the bud. Being at their best behavior is not being a sissy. Teenagers need to be responsible for their actions. That goes for everything – including drinking and going behind the wheel.

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    These are all sound advice. I am thankful my kids behaved themselves during their prom night, but of course, not all kids are the same. I remember telling them that the 3Ds (Drinking, Driving, Distractions) do not mix.

  5. says

    It’s really important to give them all the reminders that they need but sometimes that’s not enough. I think these are great tips on how to deal with teens driving on prom night.

  6. Emma Spellman says

    That is a great idea that you tell them that there are no consequences so they aren’t scared to ask for help. I will definitely do that with my kids when they get old enough for things like prom.

  7. says

    Every parent should tell teens to stay calm and use mind before exploring things. Teenage is really crucial for both parents and kids.

  8. Sari says

    Useful points and tips here. And I guess letting and allowing kids to enjoy prom can also lessen accidents. Because by that they wont be need to sneak out behind their parents back.

  9. says

    Great tips, it’s so important to emphasize safety to teens because it’s the last thing on their minds, especially during prom season!

  10. Pam says

    These are great tips for keeping teens safe behind the wheel during prom. You want them to make it there and back safely.

  11. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are great tips for keeping teen safe during prom. It is so important that they know there is rules and they need to stick too them while driving. I believe the best way to teach your teen to be safe is leading my example. Follow the rules while driving that you want them to follow. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

  12. says

    I’ll keep this in mind for sure when my kids go to prom. I always worry about them driving to begin with. I tell them now to never mess around when driving.

  13. says

    We still have a few years before we have to worry about this but when I do I will definitely keep this in mind. These are some great guidelines.

  14. says

    These sound like some great tips, I didn’t learn to drive till late so I never did the teen driving of friends myself (though mid-20 friends were bad enough haha)

  15. says

    My daughter is always texting and snapping selfies while driving and it scares me to death. If she wasn’t an adult, I’d take her phone away from her. This is really great advice and I’m going to share it because everyone needs to be safe while driving, not just for themselves but for others too.

  16. says

    It’s so important to make teens aware of the dangers of texting, etc. while driving! Talking to your kids about these hazards before prom night is so important.

  17. robin rue says

    YES, those kids need to put those phones down when they are driving!! Anything on their phones can wait!

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