Seven prom night tips for teen drivers

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It’s no coincidence that May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month. The month of May not only ushers in the “100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers,” but it’s also when many schools celebrate prom. While helping your teen pick out the perfect corsage, make time to discuss safe driving. Here are seven tips to help your teen travel safely on prom night.

Prep. Before it’s time to go, be sure your teen’s phone is charged and he’s had one last look in the mirror. You don’t want him taking his focus off the road to straighten his tie.

Eliminate distractions. If teens are riding with friends, remind them to put their phones away and turn the music down. There will be plenty of time to talk and have fun later.

Restrict passengers. Put a limit on the number of couples riding to the dance with your child. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the risk of fatal accidents increases with each passenger who piles into a teen’s vehicle.

Hire a chauffeur. If a group insists on traveling together, talk to other parents about hiring a limo. That way no one gets behind the wheel. If it’s not in the budget, offer to drive them yourselves.

Discuss drinking and driving. Talk to your teen about the dangers and repercussions of drinking and driving. And if you tell your child to contact you in situations involving alcohol, be sure to keep your phone close in case you get a call for help.

Avoid drowsy driving. The fatal crash rate per mile driven is significantly higher at night for teens, according to the IIHS. Since many proms last until early morning, offer to pick teens up so they don’t have to drive tired.

Brush up on basics. You can’t always be in the car, but you can keep safety top-of-mind by enforcing habits like wearing a seat belt and following the speed limit. Find these tips and more at the State Farm Teen Driver Safety website

Encourage your teen to make positive choices while driving. Programs such as Celebrate My Drive® powered by State Farm® provide incentives and support for teens as they’re learning to drive.