In my last post I mentioned how I wonder how many “life lessons” my 17 year old son has picked up from me, especially when it comes to safe driving.
I’ve been watching the videos (and taking the quizzes) over on the Ford Driving Skills For Life website. I don’t know how many pre-test questions they asked but I’m pretty certain I probably answered at least 40% of them wrong. I’m sure I learned a lot of this content when I was in driver’s ed myself a million years ago. I’m surprised at how much I’ve apparently forgotten. How many safe driving procedures have I forgotten over the years? What bad behavior have I inadvertently been modeling to my son when he’s riding with me?
These are just bad behaviors I know I’m guilty of:
- Eating while driving
- Talking on the phone
- Futzing with the radio/music on my phone
- Messing with GPS
- Driving faster than posted speed limits
- Driving when I’m tired
For the most part, the entire list above is entirely avoidable.
Behaviors I believe I do well:
- Always insisting on wearing a seat belt
- Texting – I will typically either wait until I’m at a stoplight or I will have him send the message for me
- Keeping a safe distance from other drivers
- Avoiding quick braking / rapid acceleration when avoidable
- Factoring in cushion time to arrive at my destination on-time
- Using my mirrors and always double checking before changing lanes, etc.
- Watching for pedestrians and bikers when turning at intersections
I was curious to know what my son would add to either list above so I asked him. He didn’t give me any feedback. When I read my lists to him he said he hadn’t thought of a lot of those things. He also said he doesn’t really pay attention but would pay more attention if we weren’t arriving safely at our destinations.
While he may think he’s not paying attention he must certainly have picked up some of these habits. Both good and bad. Do I believe he puts on his seatbelt every time he rides with a friend? I do. So I asked, he said he always does because “that’s just what everyone does, Mom”.
He still doesn’t have any interest in obtaining his license (yet) despite having taken driver’s ed and having friends who drive. Regardless, as a parent I have to be extremely diligent, especially with all of the disruptive technology we have nowadays. Undoubtedly my Smartphone is distraction number one. Sleep deprivation is probably my second biggest culprit and that’s the hardest one for me to combat.
What safe driving resources can we take advantage of to help our teens?
- Ford Driving Skills For Life
- DrowsyDriving (some of the stats listed here are downright scary!)
- RoadReady App (only available for iOS)
- The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program
- The 10 Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians (sadly Florida is #5 on this list)
What other resources or local programs are you aware of? What behaviors, both good and bad, do you exhibit to your children?
My next #FordDriveSafe post will be about some of the technology that’s becoming available in our vehicles today. I attended the #FordDriveSafe chat this week and learned so much. It’s fascinating!
Disclosure: I receive a fee for participating in certain promotional campaigns for Ford Motor Company. All views and opinions expressed are my own.