Being prepared isn’t just about big emergencies but for everyday life, too! In fact, it’s about our everyday life that is about to change drastically in our household. You see, our oldest son is about to start driving.
As a mom, I’m torn. YAY! Someone else can run the small errands or take a turn at driving on the big trips. But it’s my baby. My first born. My wee boy getting behind the wheel of a death machine — and growing up much too fast.
We’ve talked long and hard with our boys since they were old enough to understand about the safety and responsibility of driving. And now that it’s time for him to begin the task of learning for himself, we’ve set up
8 Simple Rules for Our New Teen Driver
Don’t Drive Distracted
This covers a multitude of sins, but the idea is that he’s not to drive with those things that keep him from paying full attention to the road. NO texting, no phone, no messing around with the radio, no rowdy kids in the car, nothing that will keep him from paying full attention to the task at hand, to keep him, his passengers and others on the road safe.
Enough said. Even spending a little too much time fiddling with your radio can end up like this.
Don’t Drive Impaired
We define impaired as anything that makes your body incapable of giving full attention to the road. This includes drinking, drugs (even prescription), sleepiness and make sure you are using whatever assistance devices you need (glasses, etc.). Just don’t do it. And don’t get into cars with friends who are impaired. If they won’t relinquish the steering wheel, get somewhere safe and call us. If you’re out and impaired, we’ll come get you, no questions asked tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll likely kick your butt, but at least the butt will be safely at home and not wrapped around a telephone pole.
Never Leave Unprepared
Make sure you have at least half a tank of gas, the tires are full, your emergency pack ready to go. Don’t drive around on almost no gas, and don’t keep thinking you can wait til the next day to fill up your tires. That’s how you get flats.
Learn How to Do Maintenance
Never begin driving until you have learned on how to do some basics of car maintenance and repair. You’ll have to learn how to change a tire, charge a battery, do simple maintenance. Learn how to pump gas on your own, and fill the oil/radiator. If you’re really into it, learn how to change your own oil and other light maintenance.
Obey the Traffic Laws
Don’t start getting goofy on the highway or thinking you can beat a light. Be safe. And more likely than not, you own’t have to deal with the police, either. And please, if you have missed your turn, PLEASE just go to the next exit or light. It isn’t worth the risk.
Don’t park your car in a dark corner, check to make sure no one is behind, inside or under, don’t pick up strangers (we’ve had talks about God-inspired service), don’t leave your valuables out in the car, watch for the weather and know when to call an outing off, don’t get into cars with people you don’t know. Don’t give in to road rage, and don’t antagonize someone into it.
Know What to Do in the Case of an Emergency
If you’ve had a wreck, make sure you and your passengers are okay, make sure the other drivers are okay. Pull your car off to the side of the road if you can. Call 9-11. Administer first aid that you’ve been trained to do if you feel safe doing it. Call us.
Call for Help
If you’re going to be changing your itenerary, if you’re in trouble, if you’ve had a wreck, if you’re not wanting to ride home with someone altered, call home. You’ll never get in trouble for calling. Ever.
Oh, and son? No girls in the car alone, ever 😀 Love, Mom.
And for the parents. Model the kind of behavior you expect your kids to have when they begin driving. If you’re a wild, mad, texting, crazy driver, chances are your kids are going to be, too.
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