Those first few years when our sons and daughters receive their drivers license can be a tense and prayerful time for parents every time they drive. We always hope they’ll drive safely and come home alive, along with their friends.
In just the last few weeks, we’ve had two 21-year-olds die in traffic accidents in North Georgia. Often the accident is caused by losing control while driving too fast and inability to negotiate a curve.
So though it may feel uncomfortable to do so, once your child has been driving a few years, especially when they’re 18 to 21, it’s worth it to sit down with them and talk about driving too fast, texting and drinking while driving.
When I was in high school, I had a motorcycle after getting my license. For the first year, I was careful and drove defensively because cars don’t often see you on a motorcycle. I began to get very confident driving my motorcycle and started getting a little too bold and overconfident.
One day, it had just started to rain lightly and I was too close behind a car and had to stop suddenly. Only by the grace of God did I live. It shook me up, thank goodness, and I began to drive defensively again. I had learned my lesson.
So at age 18, after driving for a few years and hopefully with no accidents or tickets, our sons and daughters begin to get a little bolder driving. They start driving faster, tailgating people, taking curves faster then they should and don’t look out for children running out after a ball in the street because it’s rare something like that happens.
In our subdivision we have some curvy streets with children and some stop signs. So why not have a conversation with your sons and daughters this week and remind them, because you love them, that you want them to reassess their driving habits? What bad habits have they developed that may cause injury to themselves, their friends, their neighbors or property?
Better yet, go take a drive with them like you did when they were learning to drive. Just ride “shotgun” while you go to the store and back and give them a critique. Are they taking off too fast or are they following another car too closely? Are they waiting too long to slow down for a light? Are they driving too fast in the subdivision?
Would you rather do something like this and be a little uncomfortable, or would you rather get a phone call at 1 a.m. from the sheriff’s office saying, “We have some bad news for you.”?
Let’s get “uncomfortable” so our kids grow up healthy and strong so that one day, they can help take care of us when we’re so old we can’t drive any more.