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It's the time of year when you can finally celebrate the rite of passage of prom. You've bought
the perfect dress, snagged a date and are ready to dance the night away. But before you kick off your shoes to do the "Electric Slide" make sure you, and your date are being safe. According to the U.S. government, auto accidents are the leading cause of teen fatalities, which is why the Ford Motor Company Fund established the 
Ford Driving Skills for Life program to teach teens safe driving skills. Check out these tips from DSFL especially for prom night.

Drinking and driving don't mix: More than a third of all teen traffic fatalities involve alcohol according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is illegal and highly dangerous for anyone to drive after drinking or using any other drug. No excuses. No second chances. No alcohol, period.

Buckle up! No matter how you're getting to prom – a limo, your parent's car or your own ride, it's necessary to always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the No. 1 life-saving device, it's that simple.

Don't let excitement distract you: Whether you're the driver or a passenger, it's extremely important to stay alert and not let your friends, texting, or loud music take your attention away from the road. Recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research showed that teen drivers are four times more likely than any other age group to be involved in a distraction-related collision. Focus on safe driving when in the vehicle and leave the dancing till you arrive at prom.

Slow down and light up: Prom night is super special. While we know you're in a hurry to check out each other's dresses and dance moves, you'll be heading there in the dark. Be sure your headlights are on and follow the speed limit. Since you don't have the sunlight to see as far down the road, it's important to pay attention and wear your contacts or glasses so you can see signs in plenty of time.

End the night right: If you fear that your driver for the evening may have become under the influence during the course of the night, do not – under any circumstances – get in their vehicle. Even though it may be late, call a sober driver to get you home safely. Alcohol and drugs, even in quite small amounts, adversely affect driver performance, hazard perception, coordination and the ability to anticipate and respond to emergencies, while at the same time increasing confidence and reducing inhibitions – a dangerous combination. Your parents or sibling won't be mad if you call late for a ride – in fact, they should be happy you made the responsible and safe decision.
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21021Ventura Blvd., 215                        9655 Granite Ridge Road, 200 
Woodland Hills, CA  91364                    San Diego, CA 92123  
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