Prom and graduation are happy events in a teenager's life, but they can also be times of great risk.
With all the excitement surrounding these milestone events, curfews may be broken, seat belts may be forgotten, the number of passengers in cars may double or triple and alcohol may be consumed.
Teenage drivers have very high rates for both fatal and nonfatal crashes compared to all other age groups combined.
Young drivers lack the experience, judgment and maturity to master the full range of driving situations.
Statistics show that car crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers.
The risk for teens is heightened during celebrations such as prom and graduations. Increased distractions like boisterous passengers, music, food, drink, nighttime visibility and general excitement divert the young driver's attention from the road and could lead to dangerous and even fatal situations.
While every parent wants their child to enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime events, it's important to take preventative measures to ensure your child's safety during these high-risk times. To help teenagers make it safely to and from a celebration, here are some tips for parents from Allstate Insurance:
* Plan an alternate source of transportation. Arrange for a cab or limousine,
* Limit the number of passengers in your teenager's car. Additional passengers create potential distractions for the driver,
* Prohibit driving under the influence. Underage drinking and driving is against the law. Make it clear to your teen that if they drink or use drugs, driving privileges will be revoked,
* Establish an SOS. Teens make mistakes and sometimes get themselves into dangerous situations. Make sure your teen has a responsible adult they can call if they feel they shouldn't be driving or are riding with another young driver who shouldn't be driving,
* Reduce distractions. Make sure your teen agrees not to eat, drink or use the car phone while driving,
* Buckle up. Teens ignore safety belts more than any other group of drivers and passengers, and
* Check the condition of your teen's car. Make certain your teen is driving a car in good condition.