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.
At ISU Insurance and Investment Group, 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 three rules to clearly state and reinforce with your teen to help keep him or her safe while driving:
- 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 expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:
- 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.
- 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. Have a designated adult your teen knows he or she can call to get a ride home should it be necessary.
- 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 planning and conversation will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.