One of the best symbols of independence is driving a car. There is no more literal way you can illustrate your teen leaving your authority than the image of them in the driver’s seat and in charge.
In the United States, this privilege is bestowed on middle teens (ages 15-17 years). An age when teens think they are omnipotent. In others words, when teens think nothing bad will happen. They will not get hurt; get pregnant; get a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or die. ”Nothings gonna happen Dad. You’re so paranoid.”
Because we know teens think this way, it has become very important to be clear and educate them on exactly what constitutes risky driving. ”No texting while driving” is an amendment added to the California “Hands Free Law” and is a serious issue being discussed around the world. “No texting while driving” is the message they want to convey to everyone, but especially young drivers, teens. The recent movie by Will Smith, “7 Pounds” shows how a moment changed the lives of several people and the following PSA was done in Europe to stimulate conversation and prevent texting while driving. Please view this PSA with your teen and be aware the content is graphic.
Please include “no texting” to the list of “No’s” when driving.
The privilege of your teen driving, similar to being a physician, places the lives of others in your teen’s hands. The community trusts that when your teen is driving, they will do so safely. The difference between your teen and the physician however, is that unlike the physician, the relationship your teen has with others on the road is not as intimate. Your teen is not thinking, “I could kill someone’s grandmother, brother or aunt.” Your teen is unaware of the person who has placed their life in their hands and unfortunately, they only find out later when the killed loved one’s child, parent, wife or brother expresses their grief.
Everyone knows you shouldn’t drink or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving and still some teens will say, “I drive better when I’m stoned.” Your teen driver should understand clearly the ”No texting” and other “No’s” while driving:
- No talking on your cell phone
- No changing clothes
- No changing the radio or adjusting the dashboard preferences
- No unruly passengers in the car
- No driving with poorly fitted shoes that remove too easily.
- No eating food
- No applying make up
- No unruly pets in the car
- No drinking
- No drug use
- No texting
Anything I forgot that once made you unable to pay attention while driving?