Bring Them Home Safely: Parent Tips for Prom Time

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

Prom should be a positive experience for your teen—one that he or she will never forget. Before the big event there is lots of excitement and so much to do. Top on the list is finding a gown or tuxedo, which groups will share a limousine, and of course, who will be the big date.

But the most important part of the preparations should come from you. As a parent, explain that prom night safety is a crucial part of the planning process, and that alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are not necessary for a fun evening.

Prince William Partners for Safe Teen Driving, a program sponsored by Prince William County Public Schools, is a community health initiative aimed at reducing the incidence of teenage automobile crashes, injuries, and fatalities in Virginia by assisting school divisions and communities to develop and implement local Partners for Safe Teen Driving programs. The program offers the following tips:

• On prom night, demand that alcohol not be allowed.
• Make sure the vehicle your teen will be driving is in good working condition.
• Limit the number of passengers your teen will be allowed to transport.
• Get your teen’s promise, in writing, that he or she will not text and drive.
• Insist that everyone in the vehicle wear seat belts at all times.
• Don’t allow driving after midnight. Make alternative arrangements (chauffeur, car pool with other parents, taxis) if necessary.
• If renting a limo, parents and passengers should insist that only registered passengers be allowed transportation.
• Make sure your teen provides contact phone numbers where he or she can be reached.

Know the Facts:

  • Every day, car crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide and suicide combined.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-to-19-year-olds in the U.S.
  • Since 2015 nearly 14,000 teens were involved in fatal crashes and more than 4,200 of those crashes involved speeding.
  • Cell phone use is highest among 16–24 year-old drivers.
  • Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a teen driver crash are people other than the driver.

Additional information is taken from the American Automobile Association’s Keys2Drive campaign, and the National High Traffic Safety Administration.

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