Where Does Preparing to Drive Fall in Our Priorities?

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"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.If you have a little window of time and you want to “get driver training” done – my suggestion to you is – don’t bother. I have to be honest, I am tired of parents who are constantly complaining because they can’t get their student in for lessons on that one or two days when they are not completely scheduled with other activities or that we won’t get them through a program in a month. It JUST DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!!! If you don’t have the time to dedicate to this process, then don’t bother starting it. Developing skills in driving is no different than developing any other skill. It takes a combination of time, patience, good instruction, and LOTS and LOTS of practice. I simply do not understand why every other activity in a teenager’s life takes precedence over developing good driving skills. I have written on the topic of what it takes to develop a good, safe and responsible driver many times over the years. To this day I do not understand the mentality of many parents. Homecoming, prom, sports practice, games, plays, recitals, all come before this – why, tell me why are all of these things so much more important than doing all that you can to help your teenager stay safe when they take to the roads? Do you realize that driving is the MOST dangerous activity that any of us do on a daily basis? Yet, you want to rush it and “just get it done” so that you can “check it off of your list.”

As a society we talk about the fact that driving is “a privilege.” but we treat it as an entitlement, because at the end of the day, we keep looking for the easiest way to get people licensed, whether it is a teenager or an adult. “People need to be mobile” so therefore, we have to make it easy and convenient because people are so busy these days. Well the carnage on our roadways is the result of “making it easy.” The excuse I always hear is “oh people are just so busy, or kids are so busy, we can’t take the time to get good training or god forbid, get the necessary practice done. Sorry folks, not buying it, there are things called “priorities” and we have lost sight of what is important – primarily doing what is in the best interest of our children and that isn’t always convenient and it isn’t always easy. Yes, our children should be involved in activities, yes, school is very important and yet, making sure they don’t sustain life altering injuries or worse yet, lose their life, is not all that important in the scheme of things. How important are extracurricular activities going to be when you are in the hospital praying that your child lives through a horrific crash they’ve been involved in or even worse, when you’re planning their funeral?

We accuse teens of having that invincible attitude,” it’s not going to happen to me.” Parents are no different, many have the attitude of: “not my kid, it’s not going to happen to my kid.” Unfortunately, it happens to someone’s kid every single day in this country.

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