It doesn’t seem possible that I have a grandson that can drive. I remember taking driver’s education myself and can still remember how I would get knots in my stomach when it was my turn to drive. I distinctly remember the white knuckles on my Driver’s Ed teacher when I would pass a parked car so close he thought for sure I was going to hit it. I just looked at him like what, I didn’t hit it!
When the time came to teach both my girls to drive, the experience was somewhat exciting and frightful all at the same time. Exciting, because when they learn to drive you don’t have to continue carting them to sports events, movies, practices, etc. and frightful because once they drive away alone for the first time those same knots in your stomach seemed to reappear. I had a somewhat frightful experience with Ms. Shibley Smiles herself while she was learning to drive, ( she probably doesn’t even remember but boy I do). We were driving on a country road which is the best place to take a new driver, letting them get use to the road without other cars around. Country roads are pretty curvy so they learn to maneuver the car with ease, no cars, no problems, right? She was driving along quite well and I saw a mailbox that she seemed to be getting closer and closer to as we approached it. I opened my mouth to say watch out for the mailbox and nothing came out, me speechless, that is pretty hard to do. I tried again and all I could get out was maillllll as I was pointing at it……….just about that time we passed it just as close as I passed that parked car when I took driver’s ed , call it karma I guess, it wasn’t funny at the time but the memory is quite amusing now.
I can only imagine how my daughter is coping teaching my 17 year old grandson how to drive. I believe she mentioned a similar mailbox incident, must run in the family. She also tells me that my younger grandson will be taking driver’s ed next semester.
After helping my girls to learn how to drive I developed a new respect for all driver’s education teachers. I think the teachers follow the program they are given and try to do the best they can to prepare our youth for situations that may occur while driving, teach them to be law abiding, safe and alert as possible. However, did you know that auto accidents is the #1 killer of teens in America, (here comes those knots again), and that there are 5,000 deaths each year. Of the 2.2 million accidents among inexperienced drivers 12% is attributed to tire related issues.
Tire related issues? I don’t remember being taught anything about tires and how they could cause an accident. I guess it wasn’t part of the program.
Here are some amazing yet scary facts about our driving teens:
- 52% of our teen drivers don’t check their tires monthly
- 44% don’t know how to check tire tread
- 27% never check the condition of their tires
- 55% don’t know the proper tire inflation level for their car
- 32% don’t know how to check tire pressure
- 29% don’t know how to check oil
- 57% don’t know how to change windshield wipers
- AND only 38% of parents consider themselves to be extremely knowledgeable about tire maintenance
To help educate our young drivers, Michelin and FIA have joined together to launch a new campaign, called Beyond the Driving Test. This campaign will help raise awareness of tire maintenance and safety. Both organizations will work together with national groups and state organizations to have all 50 states include some form of tire safety information in their individual driver’s education curriculum by 2020.
But wait there is more, Michelin created a grant program calling for people to submit ideas on a way to increase Teen Driver safety within driver education models in the areas of Miami and LA. ONE grant winner was chosen and announced today March 14th at the Miami FIA Formula E Series race.
Congratulations to the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association. The winner of the $100,000 grant
To learn more about safe teen driving initiative browse. I visited the site myself and found a rather entertaining teen driving video, 101 tips to maintaining your tires, and how to change your tire pressure.
Twitter Party #TMOM & #SafeTires
I will be participating in the #TMOM #SafeTires twitter party Monday, March 23rd and encourage you to join me and share their perspective on teen driving safety and education in the US