Practicing safe driving and following the rules of the road are two things we all need to be doing, all the time. Speeding because you're running late, rolling through that stop sign, or sending just one text while you're driving may seem harmless. But all it takes is one time to completely change your life and the lives of everyone around you. We would venture a guess that most people who consider themselves very safe drivers break the occasional road rule, too.
But if you have teens who are about to get on the road, that one time may leave a lasting impression, and influence the way they behave behind the wheel. A new survey revealed that four out of five teens have witnessed their parent or parents breaking road rules in the car. If we want to make sure our kids are safe on the road, it starts with us.
The survey was conducted by a nonprofit organization in Australia called Road Safety Education. The organization asked Year 11 students between the ages of 16-17 in Sydney's west about the behaviors and actions their parents exhibit behind the wheel while they're in the car. They were asked if they had ever witnessed their parents doing something illegal while driving, and the results were sobering, to say the least.
Students were asked about everything from texting while driving to driving under the influence. As we mentioned above, four out of five surveyed students witnessed their parents doing something illegal while they were driving a car with their kids inside (not that breaking road laws without kids in the car is any better).
Students responded that they'd seen their parents speed through yellow lights, text while driving a vehicle, drink while driving a vehicle, and talk on the phone while driving. One student even said that her mother encouraged her to drive over the speed limit, despite the fact that she was still driving on her learner's permit!
It's so important to remember that our kids are ALWAYS watching, and they're going to look to us to set the example for how they should behave. You cannot make your kids understand the dangers of drinking or texting while driving if they see you do the exact thing you're warning them not to do. Be the example you want your kids to follow. If you want to keep your teens safe on the road, it starts with you.