April 10, 2017

5 Tips to Keep Teens Safe on Prom Night

Tips for Parents to Keep Their Teens Safe on Prom Night

It's prom season, which for teens, means gown shopping, tux try-ons, and night-of photo shoots complete with way too many selfies and Snap Chats.

For parents, it could mean a good deal of worry—worry about whether their kids will have fun, whether they'll drive safely, and whether they’ll cave into any potential peer pressure.

We get it. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we're not just car accident injury attorneys. We're parents, too, and we're familiar with those concerns.

As injury attorneys, we've seen first-hand what can happen when teens are socially pressured into making poor choices. We've seen the damage caused by distracted and drunk drivers—and we want to help you understand them, too.

Please don't underestimate the potential for a prom night car accident. If you're a parent of a teenager, consider this:

  • More than half of students admit to consuming more than four drinks on prom night.
  • And a whopping 90 percent of teenagers believe their classmates will likely drink on prom night.

Here are five things you can do to help minimize your child's chances of being in a car accident on what should be one of the most special nights of their high school career:

1. Get All the Details

Know where your teen will be and where. Ask them about their transportation plans—not just to prom, but after prom, as well.

2. Get Information Straight From the Source

We hope our children give us the 100 percent truth, 100 percent of the time. But a wise man once said, "Trust, but verify." Reach out to your child's school, or check the district website, to find out the details about prom—the start time, the end time, and any special rules, including those for leaving early.

3. Make Your Position on Drinking and Driving Clear

It might seem like what you tell your teen goes in one ear and out the other, but we want to reassure you: Your opinion matters. Studies have shown that parents absolutely have an impact on how their children view and treat alcohol. So broach the matter of underage drinking, and let them know your stance on drinking and driving or getting into a vehicle with someone who does.

4. Give Them a Plan B

It's important to understand that even if your teen opts not to drink, you can't count on their classmates to do the same. That's why it's important to let your son or daughter know that it's OK to call or text you—or summon an Uber of Lyft—for a safe ride home if they find themselves in a position where they are with a driver who has been drinking.

5. Don’t Try to be The Cool Parent

You know the one we mean: The mom or dad who allows their kids—and their friends—to drink at home. The rationale is often, "Kids are gonna drink on prom night, and if they do it here, I'll be able to make sure they do so safely."

Others may think it's OK to celebrate the evening with a celebratory champagne toast. We can't stress enough what a bad idea this is. There are serious consequences to serving minors, and it's important that you understand them.

If you're not familiar with Pennsylvania's underage drinking and dram shop laws, we have information about those, as well as other resources on our website.

We hope this prom season is a safe and happy one for the students in our area. However, we know that no matter how prepared you are, no matter how many precautions you take, car accidents can still happen.

If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, we can help you. Call Edgar Snyder & Associates today for a free case review. We're available 24/7, there's never an obligation to use our services, and there's never a fee unless we get money for you.

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