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Is your teen safe on prom night?

Parents of high school-age teens often feel ambivalent about prom night. The time-honored rite of passage allows their teens to dress up as adults in beautiful clothing and twirl around on the dance floor with their date and friends, but it is also a night that can be fraught with danger.

Below are some statistics about teenagers, and some safety tips to follow for a safer, accident-free prom night.

-- It's a fact that teens are more likely to get into a car accident. Statistics indicate that the primary reason for fatalities for those between 12 and 19 are accidents, with motor vehicle accidents as the most common type.

-- Approximately one-third of teen vehicle fatalities involving alcohol happen between the months of April and June, the height of prom season.

-- When Liberty Mutual surveyed almost 2,300 juniors and seniors, they learned only 20 percent acknowledged that driving on prom night is especially dangerous. Another six percent admitted to driving on prom night while intoxicated.

-- A 2014 survey done by AAA discovered that 41 percent of the teenagers surveyed were "likely" to use alcohol or drugs on prom night,or be around friends who indulged.

-- Perhaps most frightening of all, the same survey revealed that an alarming 84 percent of teenagers reported that their friends would attempt to drive home after drinking than to call parents for a sober ride.

-- Another 22 percent admitted that rather than calling Mom or Dad for a ride, they would ride with an intoxicated driver.

-- Prom night drinking doesn't just mean one or two drinks. The Liberty Mutual survey found that over half, or 54 percent, or teen prom-goers admitted to binge-drinking four or more beverages containing alcohol.

If these statistics worry parents, that's understandable. But your teen can still enjoy the prom regardless, as long as you make sure that they are safe. Consider splurging on a limo with other parents for the night and co-hosting a chaperoned, alcohol-free post-prom party.

If your teen gets injured in an accident on prom night, you may have to take legal action to seek compensation for the medical bills and other costs.

Source: Credit Donkey, "23 Prom Night Statistics Every Parent Should Read," Rebecca Lake, accessed May 05, 2017

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