I have a prom giveaway you might want to check into, but that doesn’t have to do with the matter at hand. With proms comes a lot of things you might want to talk to your teenager about: Sex, Curfew, and Drinking. As O don’t have a lot of experience with talking to kids about any of these topics, I want to share with you some tips that were sent to me. According to the U.S. government, auto accidents are the leading cause of teen fatalities, which is why the Ford Motor Company Fund established the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program (http://www.drivingskillsforlife.com) to teach teens safe driving skills.
Drinking and driving don’t mix: More than a third of all teen traffic fatalities involve alcohol according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is illegal and highly dangerous for anyone to drive after drinking or using any other drug. No excuses. No second chances. No alcohol, period.
Buckle up! No matter how you’re getting to prom – a limo, your parent’s car or your own ride, it’s necessary to always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the No. 1 life-saving device, it’s that simple.
Don’t let excitement distract you: Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, it’s extremely important to stay alert and not let your friends, handheld texting or loud music take your attention away from the road. Recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research showed that teen drivers are four times more likely than any other age group to be involved in a distraction-related collision. Focus on safe driving when in the vehicle (consider using technologies like Ford’s SYNC which connects your phone and music players so you can talk to your car) and leave the dancing till you arrive at prom.
Slow down and Light up: Prom night is super special. While we know you’re in a hurry to check out each other’s dresses and dance moves, you’ll be heading there in the dark. Be sure your headlights are on and follow the speed limit. Since you don’t have the sunlight to see as far down the road, it’s important to pay attention and wear your contacts or glasses so you can see signs in plenty of time.
End the night right: If you fear that your driver for the evening may have become under the influence during the course of the night, do not – under any circumstances – get in their vehicle. Even though it may be late, call a sober driver to get you home safely. Alcohol and drugs, even in quite small amounts, adversely affect driver performance, hazard perception, coordination and the ability to anticipate and respond to emergencies, while at the same time increasing confidence and reducing inhibitions – a dangerous combination. Your parents or sibling won’t be mad if you call late for a ride – in fact, they should be happy you made the responsible and safe decision.
This is information was provided to me by Ford Motor Company. No compensations was received.