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Is your teen driver at risk on Homecoming night?

If you're the parent of a high school student, chances are good that your child will be attending at least some of the school's homecoming festivities. Many will be heading out to the big dance, raising the specter of fear over the hazards of drinking and driving.

The scariest part for many parents is the realization that it doesn't matter if their child is stone-cold sober if he or she is unlucky enough to encounter an impaired driver on the road. Even when alcohol isn't a factor, the National Highway Safety Administration reports that auto accidents are the number one cause of death for American teens.

Short of locking your children up in the house, what can parents do to keep them safer during these special rites of passage celebrations? Below are some common sense suggestions.

-- Pool resources with several parents and rent a party bus or limo to carry the kids to and from dinner, the dance and any after-parties.

-- Set passenger limits if another teen will be driving, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that for each teen passenger, the risk of a crash rises accordingly.

-- Make sure that your teen is a responsible driver who will obey speed limits and laws by observing them drive after dark and on unfamiliar roads.

-- Set firm rules about avoid distracted driving. Don't blast the radio, text or talk and drive.

-- Always make sure that your teen leaves home with a fully charged cellphone, charger and enough money to cover a taxi or Uber ride home if he or she needs to get away from a bad scene.

Despite the best intentions of parents and conscientious teens, sometimes accidents just happen. If your teen gets injured due to an at-fault driver's negligence, one route to justice is filing a civil suit in the Illinois courts.

Source: Defensive.Driving.com, "Teen Driving: Homecoming Safety Tips," accessed Oct. 07, 2016

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