Backseat Driver

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Hard to believe but self driving cars are right around the corner. Meanwhile siblings, parents and grandparents will continue to chauffeur kids in their cars. All the while, guess who is watching you drive?

A couple of weeks ago I was behind a vehicle turning right from a four way stop… but they never stopped, rolled through the intersection at over 5mph. They then proceeded to make an unsafe lane change and go way below the speed limit. Their head was bobbing around distracted by something else. Next turn was into a Kinder Care where they were about to drop off a child. And guess who was watching and learning from the backseat?

From the time a child is turned around in their car seat to face forward a child observes everything a driver does from the drivers seat. Talking or texting on a phone, eating, turning to talk to others, yelling at other drivers, not to mention disobeying the driving laws. We all ingrain into our children our best and worse practices behind the wheel. Distracted driving seems to be the one thing kids learn best.

We know the adage, “do as I say not as I do,” but the enforcement of what we say is what we do.

You can never un-see what you have seen. A child, from their first perception of your driving, instills your driving traits in their mind. If you are teaching them bad habits they will practice them in the future.

My children are good drivers. And, I believe my wife and I have taught them well. One even told me she has avoid two accidents because of ways I taught her how to watch other cars. Yes, observing her surroundings rather than driving distracted. Can you think of the last time you almost, or did, get into an accident because you were distracted? Regardless of all the safety items on today’s vehicles we are the number one deterrent to any accident. And we are the first deterrent to our kids getting into bad driving habits.

A take-away; Get that cell phone out of your hands, lap or seat and away from you. Put it in a safe location that, if needed for an emergency, you can get to. The center or passengers glove box is typically best. There are young eyes taking in what you are doing while driving and your number one job is to get those young eyes safely to there next destination.

When you get in your vehicle, Drive it!