Saturday, May 28, 2011

Teens and Driving

Yesterday, Darling Daughter and I visited this sweet, smiling face:

Mac and Darling daughter cheered competitively together for a few years.  There's no one sweeter or more adorable that that pint-sized blond.  (And I do mean pint-sized...she's a teeny little thing!)
Only, this time, instead of seeing Little Mac tumbling across the cheer floor or yelling atop a pyramid on the sidelines of a ball game, we saw her in the hospital.  Her beautiful face, stitched up by a plastic surgeon, peeked out above a child-sized neck brace.  Her tiny 15 year old body barely rumples the bedsheets, she's so small in that huge bed.  She was propped up on pillows, covered in a fluffy purple blanket, clutching her cell phone & stuffed moneky, surrounded by her friends. Justin Bieber posters decorate the walls of her hospital room. Flowers, candy, thousands of balloons, and gifts are everywhere.

On Thursday afternoon Mac was sitting in the back seat of a friend's SUV, riding home after a bite to eat.  In an instant, the young driver lost control of the vehicle, over-corrected, and hit a tree.  The handsome 17 year old boy sitting next to Mac was killed.  The other four passengers (besides Mac) were not badly injured...just shaken and scared and terribly sad.

Please warn your teenagers to be careful every time they get behind the wheel.  If they are driving, they should ensure that their friends wear their seat belts or get out of their car.  They should remember that driving is a dangerous business and other drivers aren't necessarily watching out for them.  Always be alert.  Always be safe.  Always minimize distractions. 
That cell phone call or bag of french fries can wait a few more minutes.

If they're riding with someone else, don't be a distraction. 
Don't bounce around, don't yell, don't reach in front of the driver.  They're responsible for your safety when you're in their car, so you be responsible for your behavior.

There is no indication that these kids were doing anything wrong.  The driver wasn't under any kind of influence (alcohol or drugs) and there isn't any evidence that she was texting or not paying attention.  She was simply inexperienced. She may have misjudged her turn or driven too fast. It just happened. 

But I'm still sitting mine down and reminding them one more time...they always need to be vigilant about safety whenever they're in a vehicle.  Whether they're driving or riding. 

Little Mac...we're praying for a speedy recovery!  We're so thankful you're going to be ok.  We hope your dazzling smile is lighting up the sidelines at the football games again real soon! We're praying for your friends and their families, too. 

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