What parents need to know about teen car crashes on graduation night
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May 29, 2014 - 12:47 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Planning ahead during graduation season could prevent the number one preventable cause of death for teens in B.C.: car crashes.
One crash was reported May 8 in Lake Country. The accident happened when two teens travelling along Beaver Lake Road after a graduation party veered off and rolled the vehicle down an embankment. Both received minor injuries.
An accident near Prince George May 18 claimed the life of two teens. They drowned when their vehicle left the road and went into a lake. The area was the site of a large graduation party.
A media release from ICBC states, on average, four youth are killed and 1,140 injured in crashes during graduation season in May and June each year. Of that, 171 are from the Southern Interior. Parents are encouraged to take part in planning to ensure kids make it home from graduation parties intact.
ICBC tips for parents:
Know their plan: Talk to your teen about all their plans for grad celebrations and parties and how they'll be getting home from each of them. Many grads treat themselves to a limousine – make sure it's scheduled to drive them home. If they could end up going to multiple parties in a night, they should make a plan in advance so you know they'll get home safely.
Plan B: Things don't always go as planned so talk to your teen about what their alternative options are to get home. Review a few scenarios with them to help guide them on how they can make smart choices – whether it's transit, a taxi or calling a family member for a ride. It's also a good idea to plan for the unexpected so consider asking 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.
Make it unconditional: If you haven't already, consider letting your child know that 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.
Power of choice: If your teen is going to be a designated driver, talk to them about not letting passengers or peer pressure influence their choices and that a real designated driver is one who does not drink at all. Use real-life scenarios to talk to your teen rather than lecturing them. If they'll be getting a ride home or to another party 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.
Take a stand: 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. For example, if they take a stand against impaired driving, they can help create a culture that recognizes making smart decisions and make it easier for others to do the same.
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