As excited as I am about the prospect of my teenager driving, there is one thing that I will really miss and that is the captive audience and time that parent and teen driving time can be. Both my daughter and I find that during this time, we can actually have time to talk about sometimes the most random of things, and other times we talk about issues important to both of us, like talking, texting and driving. Her friends also take advantage of the time and thanks to one of our more important discussions, I recently found out some interesting thoughts from teens about talking, texting and driving.
What an idiot! Yes, adults, there are teens that say that about anyone texting, talking and driving. The person in front of us didn't even notice the light was green because she was texting and driving, until a honk got her attention.
Do as I say not as I do. Far too often, parents feel that because they are "experienced" drivers that it is OK for them to talk and text while driving. The most important way to teach our teens to not talk and text while driving is to set the example. Is there anything that really requires our attention right that very minute, a minute of distraction that could put our whole family in danger?
Ten and two is taught to you for a reason. I still remember being told both hands on the wheel and ten and two. Not much has changed in driver's education courses since then. Teens are still taught both hands on the wheel and ten and two. We are teaching them that position for a reason. And, their hands won't be in the position if they are talking or texting, or using any type of electronic device. These teens say, "Any electronic you need your hands for you shouldn't use." Personally, many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we had to dodge them while driving, one friend of my mother's used to frighten me every morning as she steered with her knee and put her makeup on.
Go blue with your Bluetooth. Parents, if you must talk on the phone, use a Bluetooth, hands-free system or a built-in calling system on your car. Sure, there may not be as much privacy, but at least your hands and eyes are where they are supposed to be.
Worry about talking, texting, and driving isn't just for parents. Teens worry, too. They may not tell you so, but they worry about your safety and theirs while there is texting, talking, and iPods being used while driving.
I am fortunate, in a really scary way. My daughter and a number of her friends know a boy who was killed while texting and driving. He drove straight through the stop arm at a railroad track and drove straight into the train. Unfortunately, he didn't know these rules above. Maybe his parents didn't tell him. Maybe his parents texted, talked and drove. Maybe he just ignored the rules. We won't ever really know because now we can't ask him. I don't text and drive but I know after this talk with my daughter, I am going to think twice about talking while driving. Will you?
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