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Parents: Give your kids a refresher in driving safely before prom

Prom night is a fun night for many teens, but it can become dangerous quickly. For parents who know what it was like to be a teen in the past, prom might signal emotions of a night where DUIs and drinking were prominent. What can a teen do to be safe on prom night? There are quite a few ideas.

First, remember that your teen should carry a cellphone with him or her, but he or she should never use it while driving. Having a phone can help them if they need to call for help or a ride, but texting while driving makes driving more dangerous. A quick talk about the dangers of texting or talking on the phone while driving should help prevent that from happening.

Talk to your teen about the dangers of driving drunk before the night of prom. Alcohol slows down reaction times, coordination and makes it harder to make good decisions. It can make teens more impulsive, so that's another reason to avoid drinking.

Remind your teen that if he or she is riding with someone who has alcohol, he or she could be arrested if that person is caught. It doesn't matter if your teen was drinking or not; everyone in a vehicle can be arrested if there is an open container or alcohol being shared among passengers.

Finally, talk to your teen about the plans for the evening. Where will he or she be throughout the night? Do you need to pick him or her up somewhere, or will he or she drive? Keep in touch throughout the night to make sure those plans don't change unexpectedly.

If your teen is involved in an accident, know that you have rights. You can seek compensation from those responsible to get your teen the care he or she needs.

Source: Connecticut State Police, "Prom Night Safety Tops," accessed April 07, 2017

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