Monday, December 14, 2009

"X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever"


Each time I find myself fretting about my toddler's safety in a world filled with dangerous things, my thoughts always turn to what waits for me when she hits her teenage years. Friends with kids who have already started their teens smile knowingly and tell me that the years preceding adolescence are "the easy ones".

I remember with a shudder what a defiant teen I was; I couldn't wait for the freedom that set of car keys brought me and, once I was behind the wheel, I had an amazing amount of confidence for the tiny amount of driving experience I possessed. Yup, I now know for certain that I have a Guardian Angel who didn't get a moment's rest during my teens! I pray, pray, pray that my daughter uses better judgment and pays more heed to her parents admonitions than I ever did . . .

When I plunked myself behind the wheel and confidently hit the road all those years ago, cell phones didn't exist. Now they're an integral part of daily life, and while we may wonder how we ever functioned without them, they also bring problems with their convenience. They've made our roads more dangerous because they're used so recklessly - especially by young, newly-minted drivers. Studies by The Allstate Foundation have shown that teens are particularly susceptible to dangerous distractions while driving, especially from the use of their cell phones.

These days, more and more teenagers own up to using their cell phones to text while driving. According to The Allstate Foundation, two thirds of teens admit to texting and instant messaging while behind the wheel! Yet nearly 81% of teens rate parents as their number one driving influencers.

Knowing this, how can we as Moms not take steps to ensure we set a good example and make safe driving a priority? Especially when recent research by Virginia Tech's Transportation Institute reveals that texting while driving can increase the risk of an accident by 23 times.

Parents have a tremendous ability to influence the driving habits of their teens, making it all the more important to sit down early on with them to discuss safe driving behavior - and to lead by example.

Allstate's "X the TXT: Thumbs Up to the Safest Holiday Ever" campaign challenges teens and parents alike to make the pledge not to text and drive. By joining the cause at www.causes.com/thumbsup, you're pledging to put your cell phone down behind the wheel.

For each person who takes the pledge, Allstate will donate $1 to the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – a collaborative network of national organizations and federal agencies that serve youth and focus on youth safety and health – for safe teen driving programs.

As part of the campaign, a 30-city "X the TXT" tour kicks off this holiday season during which teens and their families can add their thumbprints to a pledge banner as a public commitment not to text and drive. I encourage you to visit the “X the TXT” to learn about the 30-city tour and to download the family pledge.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of The Allstate Foundation. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

1 comment:

John Rob said...

It is good to respond to incoming text messages, but it is not safe to text while driving. I stay connected with my friends and not distracted when driving. I down loaded http://www.drivesafe.ly/ mobile application and now listen to text messages.