Another summer is upon us and as we make plans for vacations and summer fun, we would like to join our We Save Lives’ partners in reminding you that we are entering the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” This may be the time to relax and plan for summer fun but IT IS NOT the time to relax while driving, especially for your teens. Just look at some of the facts:
What does this mean for us as we watch our young people load up the car and drive off to the beach? It means we must remain vigilant and ensure that we have provided our teens with every safety tip known to man, woman and then some. Sometimes, it takes “a little extra courage” to remind our teen that too many passengers is dangerous, the cell phone should be turned off while driving, that other distractions can be just as deadly, and that impaired driving is not only dangerous; it is a crime.
Getting arrested for driving drugged or drinking can ruin the potential for a college education, a good job, and increase our insurance, not to mention the fine, lawyer’s fees, etc. There are some practical things to consider here that we often forget in our hurry to see our young people have fun.
Parents: It also means that we should not be serving alcohol or other drugs at parties, and we, too must eliminate distractions behind the wheel and always drive sober. According to the National Safety Council a recent survey reported that 91 percent of parents who use their cell phones do it in front of their teens knowing that they are “one of their teens’ primary driving teachers.”
Give them permission and encouragement to call you if they are in a potentially bad driving situation. Let them know you will pick them up without recriminations.
Empower them to show courage and decline a ride from a friend who has been drinking or taking drugs, and that driving in a car with a driver who can’t take their finger off the cell phone is not only hazardous to their friend’s health but their own. Saying “no thanks” may make the difference between life and death.
Encourage them to sign the Courage to Intervene promise.
Also, we can’t forget about speed limits, basic highway safety laws and tips on what to do if a tire goes flat, etc. Unfortunately, our young drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations or not recognize potentially hazardous situations than we older drivers. Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving. These tips can help your family have a safer summer.
Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving.
Because we care . . . . .
President of WeSaveLives.org and founder of MADD
Resources: We Save Lives, Triple AAA, National Safety Council and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, (FAARS)