My son is 14-years-old which mean soon he’ll be driving. He’ll be on the road behind the wheel of a car that could be very dangerous, on roads filled with other drivers who are eating, talking or texting on the phones, doing their makeup… I’m having a panic attack just thinking about it now. Any parent shudders at the thought of their
baby teenager getting behind the wheel and our not being with them for every moment, for every decision they make.
It seems that you can’t drive from point A to point B these days without seeing distracted drivers. I’ve been guilty of it myself a few times – picking up my phone when it rings or a quick text at a stop light to check if we need anything from the store – but I’ve been proud that my teen will call me out, so hopefully what I preach is getting through. As a parent, however, I’ve become much better at practicing what I preach; of course, showing him those awful photos of accidents caused from distracted driving. This may not be enough, however, which is what scares me.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes.
Try as you might, as a parent you can’t protect them from everything. In fact, your teen could end up being the best driver on the road, but what about all the drivers with whom your teen shares the road? These are the things that keep me up at night and as much as I think I ‘need’ to just send a quick text, or answer someone else’s, it can wait.
It. Can. Wait. Even using voice operated systems can be slightly distracting, so it’s best to pull off the road or wait until you arrive at your destination to make a phone call or send a text. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving. The Decide to Drive program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.