12 Tips for Driving on Prom Night Every Parent and Teen Should Read
Prom is a special night for high school students to celebrate the end of the school year. Students all over the country spend hundreds of dollars − from corsage to tuxedo − to make the evening a special one.
Sadly, every year Americans hear reports of prom-goers getting into car accidents as a result of drinking and driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, with the help of Nationwide Insurance, has worked passionately since 1980 to lower these statistics. It's been a successful campaign, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reports that drinking and driving among teens dropped 35% from 1990 to 2005.
In addition to drinking and driving, accidents can happen any time students are distracted, even for just a few seconds, or because they are wearing clothing that doesn't allow them to move freely. Prom season is a good time to revisit a few easy-to-follow tips to keep this special night safe.
Always wear your seatbelt and make sure everyone in the car does,
Concentrate and drive defensively. There are likely to be a lot of
distracted drivers on the road on prom night.
Have directions to the dance − even drive by the location during
daylight hours − if the prom is not held at your school, so you know
where you're going.
Understand that the average vehicle weighs 3,000 pounds. It may be easy
to drive, but it's still a heavy hunk of metal.
Never allow someone who has been drinking to drive, no matter how
confident the driver is about his abilities. It's not worth the
Remember that tired drivers are dangerous, too. If you're barely awake,
you shouldn't be behind the wheel.
Call home to get a ride. No matter what time it is, parents would
rather pick you up than have you drive in a dangerous situation.
Take your cell phone to prom so you have one in case of
- Take a spare pair of comfortable shoes with you for driving so you don't have to hit the brakes while wearing unfamiliar high heels or bulky dress shoes.
And for parents:
Make sure you know where your child is going to be during the
dance and at the after-prom parties.
Don't allow too many prom-goers into one vehicle. (More passengers
means more distractions.)
- Consider a limo or an adult driver to chauffeur students − someone who has more experience driving at night and someone who is not hopped up on prom-night adrenaline.