Life With Teens – It’s Prom Night. Have fun, be safe!

By: Denise Koslowsky

The school year is winding down and prom is just around the corner.  Prom is an exciting night in a teen’s life.  Students around the country look forward to getting dressed to the nines and have a fun time with their friends. As parents, we want our kids to enjoy themselves, but we also want to be sure they are staying safe.


Unfortunately even with all the safety measures put in place to keep kids from drinking and driving on prom night it still happens.  Statistically speaking, accidents are the #1 cause of death for 12 – 19 year olds.  Auto accidents are cited as the most common types of accidents.  When you pair those statistics with the fact that 1/3 of alcohol related teen traffic fatalities happen between the months of April – June, you can easily come to the conclusion that prom is not the safest night for your child to be behind the wheel.


What is a parent to do?
Have an open dialog with your kids.  Even with our pre-prom red carpet reception and bus transportation to the venue, drunk driving is something we still need to keep in mind.  Talk to them about the risks and ask them to sign a safe driver contract.  You can find one on our website here.


Distracted driving is also a danger. AAA did a video analysis of the six seconds leading up to the crashes of 1700 teen drivers.  The results show that 58% of all crashes had distraction as a factor.  This issue goes beyond texting.  Adding one additional passenger to the car doubles a teen’s risk of crashing.  It is certainly worth considering renting a limo for any after party transportation!


Think twice before you rent a car on their behalf. Rental car companies in general will not rent a luxury vehicle to anyone under the age of 25 in the state of New York.  While parents may be tempted to rent the vehicle for their child and allow them to use it as an undisclosed driver, keep in mind that not all insurance companies will pay for damages in the event of an accident.  It is just one night, but the risks involved could be very high.


Consider the risks if hosting an after party.  Alcohol often plays a part in post prom celebrations (take a look at our Prom by the Numbers graphic below).  Even if you make it clear that the party will not provide alcohol, you could be held liable if someone leaves your home drunk and gets into an accident.  Especially if the kids involved are underage.


Your Insurance Needs
The bottom line is that parents need to protect themselves. It is important to have a sizeable Personal Umbrella policy.  Principal Denise Koslowsky recently shared, “The largest claims we see are, sadly, teenagers doing something stupid.  You need to be sure you have a sizeable Personal Umbrella policy, also known as Excess Liability.”


Prom by the Numbers
How much does it cost?*

Amount of $$ the average household spends on prom $978
Average cost of The Dress $231
Average cost of a Prom Ticket $75


Who foots the bill?*

On the average, parents cover 56% of the costs
Dads tend to spend 2 times as much as Moms.


What about alcohol on prom night?**   

Students who say they are likely to drink 44%
Students who think their friends are likely to drink 33%
Students who feel pressured to drink 75%
Students who are likely to have 4 or more drinks 53%
Students more likely to drive home than call home for a ride after drinking 84%
Students who are more willing to ride with a drunk person than call home 22%
Students who admit to driving drunk 6%


*According to a 2014 survey from Visa
**According to a survey done by AAA                 


Protecting your family is the most important part of what we do at Advocate Brokerage.  If you have any questions or concerns about your coverage, please give us a call.  We are here to make any necessary recommendations so you can have peace of mind and enjoy this special time in your teen’s life!


#Prom2016 #havefunbesafe

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