Prom is an exciting time for teens, but it can also be nerve-wracking for parents who worry about impulsive behavior that could lead to serious accidents. Developing a prom night contract is one way to make sure your teens understand your concerns and take them seriously. Here are a few guidelines to help you draw up your own contract:
• Be clear about the dangers of drinking and driving, and make sure your teen knows there will be serious consequences for violating these terms.
• Keep a list of the passengers of the car or limo. Include phone numbers for all the teens' cell phones as well as their parents’ phone numbers and their home addresses.
• Limit the number of passengers to avoid rowdy behavior that can distract the driver.
• Require your teen to wear a seat belt at all times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than half of teens involved in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.
• Contact other parents to plan after-prom events that don’t involve alcohol.
• Be sure your teen understands cell phones are not to be used in the car - by anyone, not just the driver. Eliminating cell phones removes temptation for the driver to talk or take part in selfies.
• Let your teen know you’ll be available to get them if they need a ride, and that they shouldn’t be worried about calling you.
Once the contract is drawn up, review it carefully with your teen and add both your signatures. Prom contracts may seem "lame" in abstract, but if you approach this process compassionately and jointly, it can send a clear message that can go a long way toward helping those you love stay safe.
Our Washington D.C. car accident attorneys can help you determine whether you might be able to obtain compensation for injuries and damages sustained in a prom-related crash.
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