NOVEMBER 2018 THE
THE MOST DANGEROUS THING YOUR CHILD WILL DO HAVE YOU PUT YOUR CHILD BEHIND THE WHEEL YET?
Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I were
suffered in motor vehicle crashes. If that statistic does not keep you up at night, nothing will. What was mind blowing to me were some of the reasons the CDC reported for teen death and injury in motor vehicle crashes: Compared to other age groups, teens have among the lowest rates of seat belt use. In 2015, ONLY 61 percent of high school students reported they always used their seat belts when riding with someone else. Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, 32 percent were speeding at the time of the crash, and 22 percent had been drinking. • •
Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male passengers increases the likelihood of risky driving behavior.
married in 2013, Heather agreed to take on not only a husband, but also two boys, Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 17 and 18 years old and face growing up in a world that is very different from the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents, but we do our best. Here are some strategies we’ve come up with to protect our kids on the road. THE MOST DANGEROUS THING YOUR KID WILL DO According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, 2,333 teens in the U.S. from 16–19 years of age were killed and 235,845 were treated in emergency departments for injuries
Heather and I have both ridden in the passenger seat as our teen drivers took control. Who needs Jesus to take the wheel when Andrew and Chandler can cause us to see our lives flash before our eyes? This white-knuckled experience has given us a newfound respect for those men and women who are brave enough to serve as driver’s education instructors. Although Montana teens are not immune to the types of statistics we see above, driving in this part of the world is expected
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