Grad Season Sees a Spike in Teen Car Accidents
Spring, particularly in June of each year brings grad season in Ontario. It's a season when weather and social pressures combine to result in the most dangerous month for teen driving accidents. In fact in June of each year, young drivers aged 16-24 make up 34% of impaired drivers in BC.
The grad’s checklist for the night is often something like this, outfit, hair, tickets to venue, booze. Safe rides home aren't always on the prom night list. Without help from educators and parents, the safe ride home may not even make the list.
As a parent, or an adult friend of a teen you can help to make grad night a much safer event for your teen by taking these steps:
- Provide a good example from early on in their lives about drinking and not driving. Have open discussions when going out about who is driving, and who is free to consume alcohol.
- Be honest and open with yourself and your teen. You may not drink but they may. Offer them an unconditional ride home. If they call, you will without question, lecture or consequence go and bring them home safely.
- Give them emergency money for a cab ride home from the farthest point they may be. Your teen may not be drinking but may find themselves in a situation that they don't feel safe in.
- Talk to them a few days before the prom night to establish their game plan for getting to and from the party. This gives them time to think about it when they aren't distracted, and to discuss among their friends what the group plan is. Quickly review the plan before they leave.
- Make certain your teen understands to how to help a friend who may have alcohol poisoning.
Most teens will go on to have a wonderful, uneventful right of passage. Keep your phone on that night and let them enjoy it.