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Prom, Teenagers. And Driving: How to Keep Your Kids Safe

It’s that time of year, parents! Time to send your kids off to the prom. Did you know that more than one-third of the year’s alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur around prom and graduation time? These events provide more distractions for teenagers than normal, from excitement and nerves, to stiff shoes and constricting formal wear.

While most parents will stress about the unknowns at prom, we can help put your mind at ease. Equip your children to stay as safe as possible before, during, and after the big dance.

• Leave the car at home. Why not splurge for a limo if it means getting around safely? Teens can split the cost with other couples to help make it affordable, or parents can act as chauffeurs themselves.

• If your teen must drive, limit the number of passengers to no more than one other couple. Also, enforce a curfew. Your state’s licensing laws can help you enforce these rules.

- For the first six months of having a license, drivers are prohibited from being on the road between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. in Washington, and between midnight and 5 a.m. in Oregon.

- Laws also forbid new drivers to carry passengers under the age of 20 in the car, with the exception of immediate family.

• We all know kids will be kids, so make it known to them that you will always be a phone call away, no matter the circumstance. Give them an escape plan, and reserve the questions for a time when you are both clear-headed.

• Work with your school, PTA, and local merchants to host a “Prom ‘til Dawn” celebration, giving teens a place to continue the fun with their friends in a chaperoned, alcohol-free environment. Organize things like food, entertainment, contests, karaoke, magicians, or caricaturists, and they won’t miss the unsafe alternative!

And remember, PEMCO is always here to help. Give your local agent a call!

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