Everyone else does it. You think, why can’t you? Your entire childhood your parents would pile a few more kids than the car could fit on the way home from soccer practice. It was no big deal. Your dad said it was okay if you sat on someones lap and didn’t wear a seat belt, he said you’d be fine. You remember on the way to school in the morning your mom would speed if you were running late. She said it was fine. Your dad always answered if work would call while he was driving. You thought that you weren’t supposed to go on your phone while you drove, but dad did it so it must be fine. On the way to a fancy dinner mom would look in the mirror to put on lipstick. She only looked away from the road for a few seconds so she said it was fine. Dad sometimes didn’t put on his seatbelt. When you asked why, he said he was a good driver so it was fine. Mom would sometimes answer her texts while driving, but she said she only did it at stop lights so it was fine. On long family road trips where you’d be driving home all night you noticed Dad yawning as he swerved a little. You asked if he was tired and wanted to stop, but he said he just wanted to get home so it was fine. Mom would always change the radio station while she was driving, but she said she was a good multi-tasker. You figured it was fine. Dad often ate while he was driving. He said it was harmless, he said it was fine. Mom would turn the music all the way up when one of her favorite songs would come on. That one time she didn’t even hear when an ambulance came flying by, but she said it was fine. Parents are the number one influencer of teens driving attitudes and behaviors. Just because mom or dad did it, does not make it fine. Don’t participate in distracted driving or bad driving habits. Don’t hurt you or someone else, it’s not fair and it’s certainly not worth it. Stand up and say it’s not fine. Make a change; be different.
My entry is to encourage teens to stop bad driving habits that they may have observed while growing up. Parents have a huge influence on every area of their child’s life, including driving. If they do something, kids assume it’s okay. My writing is to help children realize that distracted driving is not okay even if they’ve witnessed their parents/ others doing it. I want to motivate them to not only drive safely themselves, but to stand up to someone that they see participating in distracted driving and tell them that it’s not fine.