Driving Tips for a Safe Prom Experience

Prom time should be a positive experience for your teen. There is a lot of excitement before the big event and many details you must do. Top on your teen’s list may include finding a dress or tuxedo, dinner reservations, identifying a location to take pictures, which groups will share a limousine or ride, and who will be the big date.

As parents, the essential part of the preparations comes from you. In addition to shopping and picture-taking, talk to your child about prom night safety and explain that alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products unnecessary for a fun and memorable evening. Emphasize safe driving as the top priority.

Prince William County Public Schools Partners for Safe Teen Driving (PFSTD) program is a community health initiative to reduce teenage automobile crashes, injuries, and fatalities in Virginia. The program assists school divisions and communities in developing and implementing PFSTD programs. Discuss the bullet points below with your teen to help them understand how crucial it is to choose to be safe on prom night. The PFSTD program offers the following tips for driving safety.

Tips for driving safety

  • On prom night, demand that alcohol and illegal substances not be allowed.
  • Get your teen’s promise not to use a cell phone while driving or driving under the influence of a drug or illegal substance. Utilize the parent-teen agreement contract.
  • Limit the number of passengers a teen driver will be allowed to transport.
  • Always insist that everyone in the vehicle wear seat belts.
  • Make sure the vehicle your teen will be driving is in good working condition.
  • Make alternative arrangements to prevent driving after midnight (chauffeur, parent carpool, taxi).
  • If renting a limo, insist that only registered passengers be allowed in the limo.
  • Make sure you can contact your teen; have all contact phone numbers before they leave.

Know the facts

  • Phone Down: It’s the Law.
  • Every day, car crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide, and suicide combined. Based on miles driven, teen drivers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers, according to Keys2Drive.
  • More than half of the people killed in car crashes are not restrained at the time of the crash. According to the CDC, wearing a seatbelt is the most effective way to prevent death and severe injury in a crash.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 7% of the people who died in distraction-affected crashes in 2019 were teens 15- to 19-years old.
  • According to the CDC, 52% of motor vehicle crash deaths among teen drivers and passengers occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times.
  • About two of every three teenagers killed in crashes in 2019 were males, according to IIHS.

You can find additional information at CDC Teen Drivers: Get the Facts.