High school students around the country are feeling the school spirit. The back-to-school months bring fun, festive events, such as football games and dances. And, one of students’ favorite times of the school year is homecoming weekend.
Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S.? To make the most of homecoming activities and ensure a safe time, teenagers should take note of certain safety precautions before getting in a car or behind a wheel.
We’ve compiled a list of important tips to remember driving to and from homecoming activities so teen drivers can be prepared, stay safe, and focus more on the fun.
Turn your cell phone off, or put it on silent while you’re driving. The distraction of any additional device can take away from your concentration on the road. And, many states have put into effect a ban for either talking or texting while driving. Your phone can wait. Enjoy the company you’re with, and focus on getting to your destination safely.
Make it official, and pledge your safety: Read and sign the parent and teen pledge to not text and drive.
Make a habit of fastening your seatbelt before you turn on the car. Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use out of any age group. It takes just a couple seconds to fasten, and you’ll be protecting yourself from a potentially fatal situation. Also, let your passengers know that they need to buckle up, too, before you head out on the road.
As a driver, it’s important that you only allow passengers in your vehicle who are compliant with your rules. Don’t let others turn on loud, distracting music, or pressure you into speeding. Nearly half of teens report seeing passengers encouraging drivers to speed.
In a survey by the Young Driver Research Initiative Research Team, 53% of teen drivers reported seeing substance abuse behind the wheel or in a vehicle, including alcohol and marijuana.
Teen deaths, as a result of drinking, tend to increase around larger school events, such as graduation or prom. Make responsible decisions, and if you suspect a driver is under the influence of any substance, don’t risk it — call someone else for a ride. Regardless of the time or place, they’ll be happy you chose to stay safe.
Education for the Whole Family
Everyone can benefit from being a safer driver. Parents and teen drivers can create a checklist together, and go over driving safety rules as a family. For more tips, read Ford Driving Skills for Life’s Call to Action: Homecoming Safety.
What precautions do take to ensure that you and your passengers are safe? We'd like to hear your feedback and tips for helping promote teen driver safety!