Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Allstate Foundation: Drive it Home Event - Talk to your teens about driving

All of my children waited until they were over the age of 18 before they got their license. Was it their choice? 

Did they have a choice?
I made the decision for them. I was scared, heck, I am still scared. I didn't want my child to get behind the wheel of a car, get distracted and take someone else's kids life. It would be something I could never live with, nor should they have to.
When the opportunity came to attend the Allstate Foundation: Drive it Home event. I jumped at the chance. My 18 year old son got his license a month before, I wanted him to hear what people had to say. What he was looking at in the world of driving.

The Drive it Home event was entertaining, they had cute skits and a funny game show that topped the whole thing off. However, mixed in were some sobering facts. There are over 2 million teens under the age of 18 driving on U.S. roads. 2 million?? I had no idea there were so many! 

How can we help these teens if we assume that they are "alright" on the roads. I remember having my licenses for the first time at 21 years old, even I didn't feel I was alright.

Here are some tips to help you and your child the first year:

* Drive 30 minutes a week with your teen the first year.
* Talk to them about how you can reduce their driving during high risk times (nighttime).
* Sign the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement found here.

Did you know that in Colorado:
• According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 146 fatalities in crashes involving
at least one 15- to 19-year-old motor vehicle driver in Colorado from 2009-11. A total of 51 teen drivers
(15-19), 29 teen passengers (15-19) and 16 other age passengers in the teen’s vehicle and 50 others
were killed in those crashes.
• Colorado teens must log a minimum of 50 hours of driving practice, including 10 nighttime hours, before
they can obtain a driver’s license.

So, before your teen gets behind the wheel, talk to them, explain to them what you expect. Then, keep up with them every week. Check on their car, their tires, their seat belts. Teach him/her how to change a tire and check the oil. Show them a little bit of how an engine works, give them all the chances in the world to make the right choices and hopefully, they will do the same for their friends in the future.

  I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

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