The most important people in the world to us are our children. We worry about them being hurt or killed in car crashes and with good reason. The leading cause of death for those under 25 is car crashes, with the teen fatality rate being three times greater than for any other age group.
Parents often say they would do anything to keep their children safe. So what can you do during this holiday season to keep your children safe?
Be the driver you want your teen to be
Most parents repeatedly warn their teens not to drive distracted. But it’s not enough to just tell them. We must show them. Experts tell us that once we turn our children’s car seats so they face forward they begin to learn how to drive by watching us. Have you taught your children that it is okay to eat, apply make-up, talk or text on our phones while driving? While no one, including adults who are experienced drivers, should drive distracted, distracted driving is particularly dangerous for our children who are the most inexperienced of drivers. Recent studies indicate that distraction may be responsible for as many as 50% of serious teen crashes. Teens whose parents drive distracted are nearly three times as likely to also drive distracted. “Do as I say and not as I do” is a risky way to teach your children to be safe drivers.
Give the gift of safety to your children this holiday season by modeling distraction-free driving
Model distraction-free driving every time you drive with your children. If you have driven distracted with your children in the car tell them you were wrong to do so and that you want them to help you drive safer. Asking them to remind you to drive safer empowers them and reduces the chances that they will drive distracted. A perfect way to have the discussion is to use the Family Safe Driving Agreement to reach an agreement for how you and all members of the family will drive. Even if your children are not yet driving, discuss distraction-free driving with them. Doing so will not only help them keep you from driving distracted, but also will prepare them to speak up when others try to drive them distracted.
By modeling distraction-free driving every time you drive you will give your children a gift they can live with.
View our 30 second PSA below, “Parents, be the driver you want your teen to be.”