Teens driving you to distraction? React!When your child is born, you never consider that you may never have the chance to see him or her graduate from high school or walk down the aisle. And when he or she walks out the door each morning, you don’t stop to think each day that you may never see them again.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
When your child is born, you never consider that you may never have the chance to see him or her graduate from high school or walk down the aisle. And when he or she walks out the door each morning, you don’t stop to think each day that you may never see them again.
After all, you probably make sure your kids have a healthy breakfast each day, you talk to them about after-school plans, find out when they’ll be home for dinner, watch closely to see they have all of their books and homework, and then kiss them goodbye and send them out
And though you may have done everything a parent could do to make certain your kids have a good start to their day, you have very
little control over what happens next.
According to the National Safety Council, young drivers ages 15 to 20 years old, are especially vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways. In fact, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America, and mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.
Though immaturity and inexperience figure significantly into this alarming trend, those things prove to be a particularly deadly combination when you throw in speed, drinking, lack of sleep, nighttime driving, drug use, failure to wear seatbelts or a dramatically increasing level of distracted driving due to cell phone conversations, texting, checking emails, loud music or other teen passengers.
This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and it is not by circumstance that it is designated for this particular week in October each year. As teens return to school, they are more apt to be driving frequently, taking on other teens as passengers and going to sports and other special events such as Homecoming. That means their risk of traffic incidents and accidents – along with that of their passengers – increases as well. According to State Farm accident statistics, October continues to be one of the most dangerous months for teen
Just what can parents of newly licensed teen drivers do to help reduce their crash risk? You might think about putting together a safe driver pact with your teen, making seat belt use mandatory, prohibiting alcohol use, limiting passengers and banning all cell phone use while driving. It might be a tough sell, but it’s certainly worth the effort.
There’s one more powerful tool that we as parents can use – setting our own best example.