Assets In Action: Be aware of teen driving dangers

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Ahh! The sweet sounds of summer are upon us.
These are the days when you spend a little extra time loitering around, contemplating pool-ness and indulging in some additional ice cream.
This year, there might be something new to indulge in, even though it might not sounds as fun as ice cream, it is more important than a swamp cooler on a warm June night.
Teens and texting is the topic and this Thursday night, KOB-TV, channel 4 will host a program called “Driven to Distraction.”
NBC news broadcasted a story last night on with percentages of teen related issues, which might be pretty alarming.
Safe Kids Worldwide has captured data that shows car accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths, with 2,400 teens killed in 2012.
The report also found that 25 percent of teens don’t always buckle up when driving a car.
Thirty-nine percent of teens have been in a vehicle where the driver is texting and driving. Now, hold on to your girdle for this one, 28 percent of teens admit that their parent is driving the car and texting too.
When we grew up, our parents said it to us all the time, “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” So I’m asking you not to be bananas and put the phone down.
I think it only takes a slight revelation to realize that, I am not that important. No one lives or dies by my call. I am not saving lives with my words, so I don’t need to text and drive.
So you know you might not watch the “Driven to Distraction” program because there’s some kind of class, lessons, meeting or something else that impacts your life. The fact that you don’t watch it doesn’t make the issue go away.
You know I always like to give you additional resources, but you’ll like my next option, almost as much as your teens will, talk about it.
That’s right ask the questions, share the data, have the talk because teens are driving a lot more in the summer than they do during the school year.
If you’re a parent, new to the whole driving arena, let me tell you the first morning they drive to the high school on their own is the day your heart feels like it has dropped down into your pants. Oh, and once they park the car, it is a text you will be waiting for breathlessly.
Two more interesting pieces of data to ponder, at any given moment 660,000 people are distracted and driving everyday.
Plus, a teen driver with someone under 21 in the car has a 44 percent higher risk of an accident and a second passenger doubles the percentage.
So, take a second to make a difference in your life or the life of your teen.

Assets In Action is sponsored by the LACDC and the JJAB.