This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and State Farm. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
I don't think I am alone when I say that one of the scariest moments of being a parent is when their kids begin to drive. As it is, I have always been a very anxious parent. That's why when it came time for them to start driving, the anxiety completely multiplied. Most recently my daughter Jackie is just now starting to learn how to drive. She's actually waited to learn so late because she's scared of it, with none of that cocky demeanor most kids show when they learn to drive. Her fear of driving is a big worry to me because in order to be safe on the road you have to not just make good choices, you also have to be confident and in control of the car. I've told her a million times now that she has nothing to worry about, everyone can learn to drive. The best example I can give her is as a role model. In the 22 years that I have been driving, I have never been in an accident. So I just have to keep reinforcing how driving does not have to be dangerous, as long as you make safe driving choices. I'm hoping in a few month's she can be driving and we can be over this hurdle.
A recent study conducted by State Farm revealed some pretty scary information regarding how teens and parents have different beliefs about why teens do or do not obey GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing) laws. GDL programs allow young drivers to gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. One of the most worrisome aspects that this survey found is that parents are overestimating how much their teens are actually obeying GDL laws. While 89% of parents listed safety as the number 1 reason to follow GDL laws, only 51% of teens felt the same. When it comes to passenger restrictions, the amount of passengers a GDL driver is allowed to have in the car they are driving, 70% of parents think that their teen is following the restriction while only 43% of teens actually say they do! If this survey teaches us anything, it's that we have to monitor our teen drivers much better. To see more of the results of this survey, click on the info graphic for a larger view.
To help reinforce safe driving habits in teens, State Farm launched the Celebrate My Drive Initiative in 2012. This initiative invites not just parents but communities to rally around young drivers and encourage them to always make safe driving choices. Celebrate My Drive was created to share the belief that safe driving is a lifelong commitment. Automobile crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in North America, and none of us wants our children to be part of that very sad statistic. Reinforcing habits like 2N2 - keeping 2 eyes on the road and 2 eyes on the wheel - we can help not only save our child's life, but that of all the drivers that are on the road with them.
I have three more kids who still need to learn to drive, so by the time I am done I will probably have a head full of gray hair. This is one of the rare times I am actually glad I have all girls, as I tend to think girls are a little bit more responsible, but we'll see. I just want all kids to be safe on the road and always make safe choices. We are all on the roads together so it really is a community effort and one we should take quite seriously. Join the movement! Like and follow Celebrate My Drive on Facebook. You can also visit the Teen Driver Safety website for more tips and info.