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Pay attention to traffic safety on prom night

As spring arrives and the school year winds to a close, students gear up for their big prom parties. This puts lots of inexperienced drivers on the road dealing with two of the major causes of accidents: Alcohol and distracted driving.

Whether you have children participating in prom or you simply want to keep yourself and your family safe from prom-goers, it’s good to know the facts.

No shortage of awful statistics

A study by Liberty Mutual and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) found that 90 percent of teens said their peers are more likely to drive drunk on prom night than at any other time of year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2016, 2,433 teens were killed and 292,742 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries from motor vehicle crashes. Fifteen percent of teens involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident were legally drunk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,166 people died due to distracted driving in 2017.

AAA found that when only teens are in the car, the fatality rate goes up 51 percent.

Safety tips for prom-goers that bear repeating

  • Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get into a car if the driver has been drinking. Have a backup plan in place if there is a problem
  • Don’t use your cell phone, search for music or text while driving
  • Obey speed limits and traffic laws
  • Refrain from road rage
  • If you’re not in a limo, limit the number of people in your car
  • Make sure everyone wears a seat belt
  • Tell your parents or trusted adult where you are going and when you will be there. Contact them if your plans change
  • If you are wearing new or uncomfortable shoes, take them off when driving so your reaction time won’t be impeded
  • Drive on well-lit roads

If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, it’s a good idea to consult with a qualified, experienced attorney and get sound advice about your legal alternatives.