5/17/2017 9:23 PM | 0 Comments

It’s an exciting time for your teen — the school year is ending and they may soon be attending proms, graduation parties and other celebrations. However, as with any time of celebration, prom and graduation season presents additional risks and dangers on the road.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 18 years old, according to the National Safety Council. The top dangers for teens while driving include intoxication, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and extra passengers. Unfortunately, these dangers tend to present themselves more often around this time of year.

At Eastern Insurance, we want to keep this a joyous time of fun and celebration for you and your teen. To help, we’ve compiled a list of safety tips. We encourage you to talk to your teen openly and frequently about staying safe on the road.

  • Educate your teen to never drink and drive. Even though underage drinking is illegal, they may feel pressured to drink with friends in celebration of prom and graduation. Remind them that even one drink is too many if they are driving. Discuss the importance of a sober driver, and make it clear that you want them to call you, or another trustworthy adult if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.

  • Many teens (and adults, for that matter) are less aware of the dangers of drowsy driving. Late nights studying and celebrating can make your teen sleep deprived, and they may not notice. Review these warning signs with your child, and again remind them that your top priority is that they get home safe.

  • Have a conversation with your son or daughter about the dangers of distracted driving. Encourage them to put their phone on silent or in the glove compartment while driving so they are not tempted to call or text while operating a vehicle. If they have to use their phone for music or GPS directions, recommend that they set everything up before driving.

  • Look into educational programs that your local high school may offer to provide your child with a more immersive educational experience. Arbella’s Distractology program shows teens the dangers of distracted driving using vehicle simulators and visits high schools around the state throughout the year. Many schools, such as Pentucket and Chelmsford, host mock car crashes using students acting as both victims and drivers. Talk to your teen about their experiences with these programs, and how it felt to see the consequences of dangerous driving practices first hand.

  • Remind your teen that seat belts save lives. They should always wear them, wherever they are sitting in a car, and they should not accept a ride in a vehicle carrying more passengers than available seat belts.  

  • Be a strong role model by wearing your seatbelt and not using your cell phone while driving with your child.

  • Be aware of state laws for teen drivers, and remind your teen of them. It is not only more dangerous, but often illegal for them to be driving late at night or with too many friends in their car. Violating these rules could result in the suspension of their license.

  • If it is legal for your teen to drive with friends, talk to them about how rowdy passengers can be distracting, and encourage them to have a conversation with their friends about respecting them as they drive before everyone piles into the backseat.

  • Even if your teen has had a license for a couple of years, it’s a good idea to take them out for a drive to make sure they are maneuvering properly and following the rules of the road. Don’t forget to discuss the risks of speeding and running stop signs while you are riding around with your teen.

Teen driving safety starts with you. As a parent, it is important to set a good driving example at all times and to have open conversations with your teen, especially during graduation and prom season.

Accidents can happen even if you and your teen are cautious on the road. Learn more about how Eastern Insurance can help protect you and your family on our website. Or to start a conversation, call us (800) 333-7234, or email us at customerservice@easterninsurance.com.


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