For many high school students in the United States, prom is an exciting milestone, a night to spend with friends and classmates, making memories to last a lifetime. At this age, teens want a bit more freedom, especially on prom night. But prom season is as good a time as any to remind them about safe driving amid their celebrations.
Young adults do not have the benefit of experience or hindsight when it comes to driving; they often feel invincible. Millions of teens traveling to prom night and parties throughout the weekend should remember the essentials of safe driving:
- Ensure the vehicle is well-maintained
- Follow traffic laws
- Have an emergency kit on board
- Know your route
- Obey the speed limit
- Wear a seatbelt
Teens who follow these basic safety tips at prom and every day reduce their risk of being involved in a car accident. Yet, according to research on teen car accidents, there are two more pressing threats to their safety – distracted driving and drunk driving.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 60 percent of car accidents involving teens are caused by distracted driving. And while many of these accidents occur when teenagers are texting and driving, mobile phones are not the only source of distraction for inexperienced drivers.
The leading reason for teen distracted driving car accidents is passengers. Every additional person in the vehicle increases the risk of distraction. Putting on makeup, eating, and taking photos even for just a few seconds while driving can also lead to a crash. During prom, teens may get caught up in the excitement of the evening are more inclined to make unsafe decisions.
Drinking and Driving
Whether parents want to acknowledge it or not, many prom parties involve alcohol. Teens who drive under the influence endanger not only themselves, but their passengers and others traveling on the road around them. Even if your teen takes the responsible route and abstains from alcohol and drugs on prom night, if they get in the car with a friend who has been drinking, they are still at risk. After discussing smart choices and the dangers of drunk driving, reassure your child and their friends that they can contact you at any time for a ride if they have been drinking.
Words of Wisdom for Parents
We can tell teens to make smart choices, but we cannot control them once they drive away. Surprisingly, one of the best ways for parents to encourage safe driving habits for teens not just on prom night, but every day, is to follow the same rules.
There is a lot of research that shows new teen drivers model their parents’ behavior behind the wheel – for better – and for worse. So, if mom and dad buckle up on every ride, put down the phone, and drive sober and alert, their young adults are more likely to do the same.
Philadelphia Injury Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Injured Teens and Their Families
Between selfies, extra passengers, and the availability of alcohol, prom night comes with added risks to teen drivers – and added worry for parents. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash caused by a novice driver, we can help. Contact the Philadelphia injury lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. today to arrange a free consultation by calling 888-999-1962 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina to assist injured accident victims throughout the surrounding areas.