I can text and drive. : Safe @ 16
Teen Driver

I can text and drive.

by Steve Mochel on 03/31/12

For those of you who know Donna, our classroom instructor in Cos Cob, nothing gets her blood boiling more than hearing those 5 words - "I can text and drive".  And it never fails. Someone always says it when we're talking about texting and driving in our classroom at Fresh Green Light.

Sure - sometimes it's just someone who is trying to be funny.  But the truth is most teenagers think they can text and drive.  Whether they are saying it out loud or not. Look at these numbers from the Ad Council's Distracted Driving Campaign:

And parents of daughters, AAA just released a study last week showing the teen girls are twice as likely as teen boys to use cell phones and other electronics while driving.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month so what can we do?  

First of all - by now you've probably had the drug talk, the sex talk, the drinking talk so it's time to have the distracted driving talk.  Have a frank discussion about texting and driving. Ask you teenager if they've done it. And come up with a plan to make sure it doesn't happen in the future.

Second - parents we need to be better role models.  I've done it.  You've done it.  We've all done it.  Reading e-mails on your Blackberry while driving is the same as texting and driving.  And the last phone conversation that you have while driving is not nearly as important as you thought it was.  Put your phone away and drive. Hey - what a great time to have the distracted driving talk with your teenager!

Lastly - when you see a friend, family member, or colleague being a distracted driver, call them on it.  Tell them you care about them and want them to be safe.  Just don't let them do it and get away with it - as they say at the MTA "if you see something - say someting".

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