Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for Latina Mom Bloggers on behalf of the Allstate Foundation and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Last month I became something I had been dreading for awhile. Something that I wish I could’ve postponed for a little while longer. Something that kinda even scares me…
A mom of a teen driver. *GULP*
So not only have I had to get used to the fact that my “little girl” is growing up, but now I also have to get in a car with her behind the wheel. Quite frankly, it’s all a bit much for me. It’s about time I chuck the whole “I’m not ready!” attitude, and start sucking it up. Yes, she’s driving. And yes, I have to let her. Dang near gives me a mild heart attack each and every time. But it’s time…and I’m learning to let go.
But for me, letting go means arming myself with new knowledge, tips, and advice on how to keep her as safe as possible when on the road. “¡Vamos!”, or “Let’s Go!” in English, is the first-ever national survey looking into the attitudes and behaviors of Hispanic teen drivers and parents. The Allstate Foundation conducted the survey to identify tools and tips to help all parents keep their teen safer when driving. The survey found that 42% of Hispanic parents did not know that the #1 cause of teen deaths involve an automobile accident. And it doesn’t always involve drunk driving either. A teen’s inexperience behind the wheel makes them more accident-prone than someone who’s been driving for years. It’s a statistic that people might hear and not give it a second thought…that is, of course, unless you have a teen driver in the house. When you do, it’s scary, scary stuff, people.
I recently had the pleasure speaking to Allstate’s national Hispanic community spokesperson, Jorge Monsivais, a Latino Allstate agency and parent of a teen driver. We spoke about the new dangers facing teen drivers today (like cell phone distractions and texting while driving) and I even ‘fessed up on my own nasty habits and how I want to prevent my daughter from picking them up.
The biggest takeaway I got from my conversation with Mr. Monsivais was communication. As parents, we have to keep the lines on communication open with our teens in order to maintain some influence in their developing lives. Especially when driving. He directed my to Allstate’s Parent/Teen Driving Agreement and I think it’s genius! Parents can speak with their teen and be 100% clear on expectations when their teens are driving. Both parties sign and teens will be held accountable for their actions when driving. I love it!
I’m still extremely nervous about this unchartered territory I’ve entered with my daughter now able to drive the family car, but after being armed with Allstate’s teen driving resources, I’m hopeful that I can reiterate the safe driving message that is critical to keeping teens mindful on the road.
For more information on teen driving, and for Latino parent teen driving resources, including a teen driver contract visit: www.AllstateFoundation.org/vamos.