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This post was written as part of my association with TeenDrive365 and the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic. For more information on the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic, please visit http://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e.
My 18 year old is now driving. Now obviously I’ve known this day was coming for a long time. I took the photo above of him behind the wheel of a classic car back in 2004. It was cute. It caused me no concern.
I took the second photo above back in 2010. Even though he was considerably older and enjoyed driving gokarts as fast as he could at the track where we vacation I still wasn’t worried.
I didn’t actually get worried until recent months when the time came for him to drive for real. In my experience there are some things that no matter how hard you try to be sure to teach your child all about you still worry. Driving is one of those things.
What do I worry about? Many things. I worry about texting and phone conversations. I worry about him remaining focused on the road and not whatever is in his head, on the radio or being said by whomever he is with. I worry about too many people being in the car. I worry about inexperience leading to slower reaction time. I worry about other drivers. I worry about a lot. Again, it isn’t that he hasn’t been taught or that he’s a bad driver. It’s that he’s a teen and my love and sometimes preventable stuff happens.
The fact of the matter is, it isn’t all that difficult to get distracted in life. Ever be walking down the hall and thinking about one thing and not notice something and stub your toe? Hurts right? Or maybe you’ve been walking through the mall, purposefully headed to one store. You see a great sale or something really cute and you get distracted and stop. Might hurt your wallet a bit but it certainly doesn’t endanger your life or the lives of others. Things are different with driving. Every decision we as drivers make impacts our own lives as well as the lives of others in our car and in cars around us.
As parents we need to do everything we can to teach our children to be safe drivers. Toyota recognizes that and is stepping up to the plate by bringing a very valuable program to the New York / New Jersey area. During September and October, Toyota is offering series of FREE TeenDrive365 Safety Clinics for area residents.
This FREE 2.5 hour non-driving interactive session provides both pre-driver and new-driver teens, as well as their parents, a beyond basics approach to road safety. The sessions include car care tips, coaching techniques and other practical tools. These sessions take place in a safe, open, non-sales environment. Families participate in hands-on activities in class and around the car to promote safe-driving behavior.
The interactive clinic will cover topics such as:
- Defensive driving “universal truths” and best practices
- Understanding your vehicle’s performance dynamics
- Dangerous driving distractions and how to avoid them
- Car operations, safety features and basic maintenance fundamentals
- Communication and coaching tips for parents and teens
- Mutual driving agreements for pre-driver/new-driver teens and their parents
- 9/13: City World Toyota Bronx, NY
- 9/14: Toyota of Manhattan New York, NY
- 9/20: Liberty Toyota Burlington, NJ
- 9/21: Holman Toyota Mount Laurel, NJ
- 10/04: Gault Toyota Endicott, NY
- 10/05: Lia Toyota of Colonie Schenectady, NY
- 10/11: DCH Toyota City Mamaroneck, NY
- 10/12: DCH Freehold Toyota Freehold, NJ
- 10/18: Millennium Toyota Hempstead, NY
- 10/19: Penn Toyota Greenvale, NY
- 10/25: Autoland Toyota Springfield, NJ
- 10/26: Bay Ridge Toyota Brooklyn, NY
If you’re interested (and if you have a teen why wouldn’t you be!) it’s very important that you register for these clinics as soon as possible. Why? There are only a limited amount of spots available – 60 at each dealership. The clinics are meant for teens and parents to attend together. RSVP as soon as possible to make sure you and your teen get one of the spots!
Here is a brief video.