This time of year is one of the most exciting times a teenager can have. For seniors, this is the prom and graduation season. Time to celebrate with family and friends the accomplishments of four years of study and yes, stress.

Celebrations can be as quiet as a dinner with family or a big party with friends.

However, those celebrations for some include alcohol and or drugs. This is a lethal combination when teens, or anyone, get behind the wheel and drive.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there is a dramatic increase in teen fatalities extending from April into July.

Baltimore County Police Officer Jennifer Peach suggests that parents and teens write and sign a contract. The contract would stipulate that when the teen calls home for help, there will be no questions or punishment.

Another reminder about distracted driving. Put the cellphone away when you get into your car. Let someone else pick out the music or make the calls.

When you drive distracted, drunk, or drugged you put not only yourself at risk, but those with you in the car and those other drivers on the highway.

Have fun and enjoy your time as a teen, but don’t cut it short by driving drunk, drugged or distracted.