Each year during prom season, an unwilling teen becomes the face of safe driving because her life was cut tragically short in a car crash. Front pages and news broadcasts declare sadly that her life could have been saved had she been wearing a seat belt, not speeding or texting her boyfriend while she drove.
Automobile crashes remain the number one killer of teens, and the large majority of these crashes are preventable – caused by driver error, speeding and distractions.
The risks increase from April to June as teens get caught up in the celebratory nature of the season – prom, graduation, summer break – and are easily distracted by rowdy passengers, loud music, alcohol, and just general excitement about upcoming festivities. This can lead to dangerous and even fatal consequences, so it’s important that you take preventative measures to ensure neither you nor your friends become the next face of safe driving campaigns.
- Rent! Get your parents to pay for a limo. That way you’re carted around by a driver who has experience chauffeuring excited passengers … and you can focus on snapping pics and touching up your make-up.
- Hire! Limos can put a big dent in your pocket so consider asking a cool family member to cart you around. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event so chances are he’ll agree. Offer a free dinner as payment.
- If you must drive, check your brakes and brake fluid. You want to make sure your car is in the best mechanical shape possible.
- Cap the number of passengers. If you rented a twelve-person limo, limit the passengers to 12. Large crowds can impede on the driver’s visibility. And there are only 12 seat-belts in a twelve person car, and on that note…
- Buckle up! We know you don’t want to wrinkle your oh-so-fabulous dress or that dapper tux but that’s not worth your life, is it?
- Be on time! That way you’re not speeding off to get to your destination.
- Pump down the volume. Yes, T.I.’s “Live your Life” gets you and your crew amped but this can be distracting to the driver so save it for the dance.
- Plan ahead. Know where you’re going after prom and be sure you know how to get there so you’re not driving around town unnecessarily.
- Watch the road. There are more drunk drivers on the roads during this season so keep a close eye on other drivers.
- Ban the booze. Don’t drink or let your friends drink alcohol in the car. It’s illegal and you may not be allowed into prom if they smell alcohol on your breath... or even worst, if you're involved in an alcohol-related crash, you could face felony charges.
- Have a back-up plan. So your ride is stumbling around and reeks of alcohol. Or maybe you guys got a flat tire and you're stranded on back road somewhere.Make sure to have someone on standby who you can call just in case.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving