Lyrics Now I will take a breath I’ll get in the front seat I’ll let all my worries pass My mind on the task ahead of me Now my seatbelt’s on and I feel safe With all distractions tucked away I’m prepared, my eyes look straight I’m on the road today I don’t want to risk my life Don’t want to play that game I don’t want to lose sight of The car in the next lane I don’t need the chatter Or the radio chorus I’ll listen to the sound Outside these doors I’m not the only one on these roads I’m not the only teen driving home I’m not the only life to be saved Remember the plan – the time and place Why do I have to be so selfish? Why do I have to be distracted? There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be satisfied Just being alive I believe that the solution to distracted and reckless driving is increased mindful driving. That is why the very first words of my song are “Now I will take a breath”. Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment, and a skill that is useful in all aspects of life, including driving. When we take a breath and focus “on the task ahead”, we open ourselves up to all that is around us. On the road, we are more alert to important signs, the cars, the road itself, the sounds, and the communication that happens between drivers. It is an all too common experience for us to be lost in thought while driving only to realize we have traveled a long way since the last time we were paying attention. The first step to mindful driving is to have a habitual routine before turning on the car to get rid of all distractions and prepare ourselves for driving. In the bridge I “remember the plan – the time and place”, signifying the plan for safe driving. There might be a checklist we run through in our heads, or even on paper to be sure. Is our seatbelt on? Do we know the directions to our destination? Is it safe and legal to drive at this time? Are all “distractions tucked away” (*especially the cell phones*), perhaps in the trunk? In marriage, it is a known adage to not go to bed angry. It is the same thing with driving. Along with physical distractions in the car, such as “chatter” or the “radio”, we also need to clear our minds of all thoughts that take us away from the road. When we “let all our worries pass”, including any angry emotions we might be feeling before driving, we are better “prepared” to “listen to the sound outside these doors”. Let every drive have a beginning ritual. Teens would benefit from practicing a breathing exercise or some sort of mindfulness routine before every drive. When we increase our awareness internally and in our vehicles, we can then escort our awareness to the world beyond us. It is important for teens to be aware that distracted driving really is a “game” that places their life in jeopardy. Not only that, it places others’ lives in jeopardy because as the driver, “I’m not the only one on these roads” and “not the only life to be saved”. When we make careless decisions on the road, it is truly “selfish”. We must all increase our awareness of life and death, remembering how valuable every human life is. We don’t need to text and drive. We don’t need the radio and chatter. No distraction is as important as the life we possess. We should simply be “satisfied just being alive”.