FOR high school seniors, graduation and one last summer of carefree fun remain before they move on to the next chapter of their lives. ICBC is urging all grads to celebrate safely and asking parents to make sure their teens plan ahead to get home safely from all of their celebrations and parties throughout summer.
On average, seven youth aged 16 to 19 are killed in crashes from June to August in B.C. every year.
Tips for parents
Know the plan every time. Make a habit of talking to your teen about their plans for getting to and from every celebration and party they attend this summer. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine but may not think to schedule it to also drive them home. If they could end up at multiple parties in a night, make sure they plan safe rides for that too.
Back-up plans. Review a few scenarios with your teen in case their safe ride home falls through, so they’re prepared with other options. Discuss alternatives – whether it’s transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. Ask your teen to program local taxi companies’ phone numbers into their phone, look up transit information in advance and set aside money for transit or a taxi just in case.
Call for help. If you haven’t already, consider letting your teen know they can call you at any time if they ever need a ride. If they do call you for assistance, be supportive and consider saving your questions for the next day or at least until you’re home. If you aren’t able to pick your teen up yourself, you can always call a taxi to get them home safely.
Designated drivers. If your teen is going to be the designated driver, emphasize that a designated driver does not drink at all. Use real-life scenarios to encourage an open discussion about not allowing passengers or peer pressure to influence their decision-making skills while driving.
Take a stand. If your teen will be getting a ride with a friend, remind them to ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink before getting into the vehicle if they aren’t certain. Even if you’re confident that your child is going to make the right choices, talk to them about looking out for their friends, especially those they know are easily influenced by others. Your teen’s choices can have a significant influence on their friends and make it easier for them to take a stand too.
Every year, ICBC road safety speakers tour the province sharing their personal, heartbreaking stories to thousands of students to motivate them to think twice before taking risks while driving.
You can find more road safety tips on icbc.com.