With prom right around the corner, before you know it, friends will be arriving and lining up for photos. After exchanging boutonnieres and corsages, everyone will hit the road to get to the dance. This means more teenage drivers on the road, typically accompanied by their friends.
This is an exciting time for many teens, they finally have their license and the freedom to do and go where they want. Especially during prom night, when everyone is excited and the driver is more likely to show off in front of their friends. Statistically, prom is one of the most peer-pressure-filled nights teens may face. Whatever plans you may have, and wherever you may go, we at SJ Injury Attorneys want to make sure you have fun—and safe—prom night.
Our Houston car accident lawyer has some tips for both teens and their parents:
Safety Driving Tips for Teens Navigating Texas Roads
Pay attention to the road. Distracted driving, which includes phone usage during driving, is one of the most common reasons teens get into car accidents. Not only do teens have the temptation of their phones, but on prom night, they will also have their friends in the car causing distractions. It is important to pay close attention to the road to ensure you stay safe.
Watch your speed. Speeding plays an important role in fatal auto crashes involving teen drivers. In fact, speeding is a contributing factor in about one-third of accidents involving a teen. Speeding is so dangerous because it takes away the driver's needed reaction time, which is used to help avoid a crash. When you add the inexperience of a new teen driver to the mix, this combination has disaster written all over it.
Keep a schedule. Prom night tends to go on late into the evening, and with parties following, it may be much later. Be sure you have a plan going into the night that has sleeping arrangements to avoid driving tired.
Be sure to wear your seatbelt. In 2017, close to half of teen drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. Make sure you and all members of the vehicle buckle up, no matter how short the drive!
Don’t drive under the influence. For individuals under the age of 21, consumption of alcohol is illegal, as it is for anyone to drive under the influence. There is absolutely no reason for any teen attending a high school prom to drink alcohol. However, if you happened to consume alcohol, give your keys to someone responsible to ensure everyone’s safety.
Best Practices for Parents Wanting to Keep Their Teenagers Safe in Texas
Hire a ridesharing service. We live in an age in which getting a ride from someone wherever you are is just a click away. Services like Uber and Lyft are designed for outings such as prom. They allow you to call a driver to pick up your child and bring them home safely. Doing this will not only keep your child safe, but it will also keep other drivers on the road safe as well.
Set expectations. Make sure to explain to your teen some of the rules explained above. The most important thing is to emphasize staying safe on the road and taking extra caution.
If you can, open your home’s doors. Prom typically lasts late into the night, which may lead to your teen driving while tired. Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Make it known that your house can be used as a place for your teen and their friends to stay to avoid having to drive tired.
Lead by example. The best thing you can do to protect your children is to teach them what is right. When you are driving with them in the car, practice good driving habits. Leave your cell phone down, wear your seatbelt, and always follow all traffic laws.