Make sure you prepare your college bound kids for their new freedom. If they’re of legal drinking age, tell them to plan ahead. If their plans include alcohol, they must drink responsibly. Don’t assume they know. Check in on them and make sure they are being safe. Remind them to never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. You can help keep your young adult children safe by sharing these tips to be a Safe Rider:

ALWAYS Buckle Up!

There are worse things that can happen to them than getting a ticket. Make them commit to always wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts save about 15,000 lives each year. Whether your college student is driving or riding with a sober driver, they need to buckle up immediately.

Keep Stuff on the Floor

The dashboard may look like a shelf, but the laws of physics turn it into more of a launch pad in the event of a crash. Loose items in the car can become projectiles. The best place for all loose, bulky items is in the trunk. If that’s not an option, the floor is the next best place.

Don’t Distract the Driver

A driver’s job is to keep passengers safe. Tell your college students to let their drivers do that. When they’re passengers, they should not distract their driver. If they’re using a rideshare app, they should always sit in the back seat and keep the noise to a minimum. It will help the driver stay focused.

NEVER, EVER Ride with an Impaired Driver!

Sometimes young adults mistakenly think they can help an upset, drunk friend get home more safely by riding with them. Your college-aged children should know there is nothing they can do from the passenger seat except become a victim. They need to find another ride, use a rideshare app or call a cab, and offer to help get their friend home safely that way. Above all, they must never ride with a drunk or drugged driver. And never be one.