Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Drive It Home Seattle

Drive It Home came to Seattle tonight and put on some pretty humorous sketches about teens and driving. A comedy troupe put on a Dr. Bill television show with commercials. My favorite were the commercial skits.

For the more serious part of the program, a mother spoke about her son being killed by an inexperienced driver who should never have been driving friends (he had a provisional license). That was rough.

The main take-aways for the evening include:

1. After licensing, continue to drive with your teen at least 30 minutes per week. See for yourself where their skills are and coach them on skills to improve. Be the authoritative parent. Set rules and ensure they are followed.

2. Before you let your teen drive on their own at night, or in the rain or snow or on the freeway or where ever, make sure they drive in those conditions with you first. Then you'll see what they know and where they need help. The number one killer of teens is car crashes. The number one reason for these crashes is inexperience (not texting or alcohol). Help your child get a variety of driving experiences before turning them out on their own.

3. Set the example. Drive the way you want your child to drive.

4. From the mother who lost her 14 year old son: Talk to your kids early about riding with others...when to speak up when something dangerous is happening...when to not get into someone else's car. Those conversations happen frequently for older teens. But younger ones need the same conversations.

5. And for the grand finale of the take-aways: Determine your child's readiness for driving before they take driver's education. What kinds of decisions are they making? Are they responsible? Considerate? Chances are they will make the same kinds of decisions when driving. So make sure they are ready for the challenge.
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