The holidays are a great time for most people. At schools, they’ll start putting together fall or winter homecomings and dances where teens can get together and party with friends.
For those who can drive, this is one step closer to adult independence. They may pick up their date, go to dinner and go to the dance. They might go to an after-party or the movies to round out the night once the school event is over, too.
Parents need to talk about safety before school events
Before a school dance or other event where your child will be out driving around, you need to talk to them about safety. Discuss the importance of not drinking and driving and how dangerous it can be to have multiple people in the vehicle.
If you have concerns about your teen texting and driving, drinking and driving or driving with others who are a bit reckless in the vehicle, this may be a good event to drive them to. If they want that independence, it may be a wise choice to set a time when they need to be home. Check in with them throughout the night, and remind them that you’re there to pick them up if needed.
Teen drivers aren’t always the safest drivers
Teen drivers aren’t always the worst, but they’re also not always the best drivers. They may make mistakes when driving due to being new to driving a vehicle. They might get easily distracted or be unfamiliar with an area where they’re picking someone up.
As a parent, your job is to make sure they are prepared to be behind the wheel during a major event and to make good decisions while they’re in the driver’s seat. Talk to your child about the risks, so that they understand why it’s so important to make smart choices at the event and on the way home.
Distractions, drunk driving, texting and driving, and other issues can all lead to serious or fatal crashes. No one wants to see a night of fun come to a tragic end. If your child does end up in a crash caused by someone else, remember that it’s appropriate to seek fair compensation for any medical care they need.