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Parents, insist on safety first on prom night

With all the excitement about the formal wear, hair, make-up and nail appointments for the big night, sometimes teens give short shrift to what's most important — making sure that prom night remains safe for all attendees and those they encounter on the roads.

Parents may not be able to eliminate every risk for their teens, but by incorporating the following suggestions into the teens' prom plans, they can reduce the likelihood of tragedy occurring.

-- Make sure your teen promises to wear a seat belt to and from all events on prom night.

-- Don't allow your teen to overload the vehicle with friends or ride in an overcrowded car with others.

-- Go over some points involving safe defensive driving. Explain to your teen that he or she must anticipate the actions of other drivers who are also on the road with him or her.

-- Reinforce that underage drinking is illegal and can carry heavy penalties and repercussions. Make your teen sign a pledge not to drink or ride with a driving who has imbibed.

-- If your teen will be driving that night, make sure that he or she concentrates on the task at hand, eschewing texts, cellphone usage and distractions from passengers.

-- Some proms are located at outside venues and not at the school. Ensure that your teen knows the location and route by having him or her make a test run a day or two before the big night.

-- Discuss with your teenager the realities of peer pressure. Have him or her come up with some realistic ways to avoid caving in.

Be open with your teens and let them know that no matter what the circumstances may be, they can call you at any hour for a safe ride home from a dangerous situation or location. Forego the lecture for the night and address the matter calmly the following day.

If your teen winds up injured in a car wreck on prom night, understand that legal actions can be taken against the at-fault driver, even if the driver was a minor.

Source: Safety Insurance, "Prom Safe Driving Tips," accessed May 03, 2017

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