Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Parent Pledge: Don't Text and Drive

I'm beginning to realize that there will never be a shortage of content for this blog.

Take yesterday's heartbreaking story on the Today Show. A teenager tragically loses her life due to texting and driving. Now her parents are lobbying for laws that ban the practice. Texting laws may be hard to swallow, but the parents of Taylor Sauer may have a good point:
"We all fought against seat belts, (but) now, everybody wears seat belts. The kids will be trained and learn from a young age that they can't text and drive."
Whether its talking on the phone or texting, I think most of us can agree that phone usage while driving can be dangerous for an experienced driver, let alone an inexperienced one. A children's education expert and scholar at my church encourages parents to consider their own practices. During her classes for parents, she asks for a show of hands. "Who would advise their children to use the phone while driving?" Of course, no parent raises his or her hand. "Then you as parents shouldn't use the phone in the car," she pleads. "Your kids are watching everything you do, and they will follow in your footsteps."

I heard her message several months ago and took her advice to heart. I decided to stop using my phone in the car when the kids are riding with me. It is easier to do than I expected, although I'm still working on decreasing my phone use when I'm in the car alone.

Consider this parent pledge: stop using your phone while driving, at very least when your children are in the car with you. Let the calls roll to voicemail or the texts go unanswered for a few minutes until the car is in park. Talk to your kids about the issue. And consider restricting your teenager's texting behind the wheel if he or she is of driving age. It could save you a lot of heartache in the future.

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