STATE – As teenagers anxiously await prom and graduation celebrations, nervous parents are hoping their children celebrate safely and responsibly. Curfews may be broken, seat belts forgotten and alcohol consumed. What should be a happy time for students might be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Motor vehicle accidents claim between 5,000 and 6,000 teen lives each year and the leading factor in these crashes is neither drugs nor alcohol – it is driver error.
“The risk for teens is heightened during celebrations such as prom and graduations,” says Allstate New Jersey Exclusive Agent Mike Antenucci. “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 consequences.”
While all parents want their child to enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime events, it’s important to take preventive measures to ensure children’s safety during these high-risk times. To help teenagers make it safely to and from a celebration, Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company recommends the following tips:
- Plan an alternate source of transportation—arrange for a cab or a limousine.
- Limit the number of passengers in your teenager’s car—more passengers create more potential distractions for the driver.
- Prohibit driving under the influence—underage drinking and driving is against the law. Make it clear to your teens 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 teens have 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 a cell phone while driving.
- Buckle up—teens, more than any group of drivers and passengers, don’t use seatbelts.
- Check the condition of your teen’s car—make certain your teen is driving a car in good condition.
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