Friday, June 21, 2013

If You Drive or Have Children That Do, You Need to Read This

Is that text you are so involved in worth living with the rest of your life knowing you took someone's life, or stole a mother from her children, or a child from her parents, or a breadwinner from their family? Do you want to be the reason someone is in a wheelchair for the rest of their life? I have the utmost respect for people who have told me "About to drive. I'll text again when I stop." I know they value life (which equals my family and yours) more than a text. Come on, people, weigh the consequences of your actions. Put a priority on LIFE.

You nod your head and agree when you see reminders to not text and drive, but you keep doing it anyway! You tsk, tsk, tsk, and condemn someone when you hear about a distracted driving accident, but you think it won't happen to you. You agree something should be done. But, you just keep on answering those texts.

I have NEVER texted while driving. Never. Not even once. I am very strict on my children about this, so I make sure I give a good example. I don't want to live with the lifelong guilt of maiming or killing someone. I don't want to alter other people's lives or have their loved ones blaming me for the pain in their life. I don't want the guilt of knowing I could have avoided all of it by just waiting. Your life, stranger, is more important to me than whatever is going on with my phone. I just wish mine and my family's was important to you. I am asking you to please consider the cost of your actions. Is that text so important it can't wait til your destination or until you can pull over to answer it?

I've heard parents make excuses for their children's texting while driving. "How will I know if they do or not? Well, how can I stop them?" You ask for their phone when they get home, and you look to see if they texted while driving.* Take the cell phone and car away if they break your rules. Period. Stop making excuses and taking the easy way out and parent your children while you still have power to influence them. Teach them there are consequences for their actions by imposing restrictions when they break rules. Having privileges taken away is better than the consequences of causing an accident. Keeping them safe is better than them being temporarily angry with you. Being a responsible parent in this area might save their life or keep them from living with regret. A dead child doesn't come back. Love your child enough to be the parent in their lives. They will thank you for it later, and if they don't, having them alive should be thank you enough. 

Don't commit a serious offense over something senseless! All texting is senseless when you are behind the wheel endangering lives.

*I still do this with my ADULT college-aged children who live under my roof and on my dime. And, they are welcome to check mine at any time...accountability. It's that easy. Asking them to be safe while on the road is not out of line or overly burdensome.