Jacobs reminds teens to stay safe during prom season
The warmer weather is here and the coming end of the school year means prom season is also upon us. This is an exciting time of year for teens, but it brings an increase in accidents and deaths caused by impaired or distracted driving. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the prom. Decisions about dresses, tuxedos and limousines become important, but the choices made during and after the prom are critical. Do not let the wrong decision get in the way. Do not allow drug and alcohol to interfere with these life-long memories.
The National Highway Traffic Administration provides us with statistics showing that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 – 20-year-olds and that 28 percent of 15 – 20-year-olds who were killed in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking. From official reports to famous movies, the prom is often associated with peer pressure to drink alcohol and do drugs, which can lead to dangerous, life-threatening driving.
Inexperience and immaturity, combined with drinking and distracted driving, can be deadly for teens. That’s why it is so important for parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of drinking and distracted driving, especially during prom season. An effective “prom-safety talk” a few days in advance of the prom is a great way to prepare your teen for what to do in various situations such as someone bringing alcohol into the dance or a friend driving dangerously and how to better handle these situations should they occur.
I encourage families to have a prom-safety talk with their child and remind him or her that actions have consequences and, in the case of drunk or impaired driving, those consequences can be deadly. To avoid impulsive and potentially-regretful results, teens should carefully consider the magnitude of using drugs or alcohol.
It takes only one such incident to turn what should be an evening of laughter, dancing and fun into a terrible tragedy. Encourage your teen to not ride in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs and remind them to make sure that all of their friends do the same.