Monday, June 29, 2015

Allstate Wants To Make Sure Teens #GetThereSafe

This is part of a sponsored safety campaign with DiMe Media and Allstate Foundation. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

If you're like me, the single parent of a teen, you know how scary that time is when they say "Mom, I want to drive."  Most of you know me as just The Foodaholic, while others also know the many additional hats I wear; one of which is the full time driver of my seventeen year old performing arts princess.

Looks like I'm going to have a driver now.

A recap of my daily life would leave you speechless. Going out to as many events as I do, working full time, playing the role of both mom and dad, and dealing with the daily responsibilities of life we all know and love, the fear of allowing my daughter to drive is overpowered by the realization that it's time. The question is... have I done everything in my power to ensure she is fully prepared to get behind the wheel and #GetThereSafe?

I started talking to my daughter about the importance of driving safely way before she started studying for her Restricted License (Driver's Permit) test. I began talking to her about it when she was a little girl and didn't want to wear her seatbelt. Or when she wanted to turn up the radio so loud, I couldn't hear anything other than Barney telling me how much he loved me. But one thing is for sure, taking the time to read the information the Allstate Foundation's signature program for teen safe driving is providing for parents, has helped me understand it's not just about telling our teens to be safe, it's about modeling it in our own driving.

The Allstate Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary doing research and putting out valuable resources for parents of teens who are driving, in order to help them #GetThereSafe. Over the past decade, the Foundation has reached more than 56 million people with information that has contributed to driving down teen car crash fatalities by nearly 48 percent. Summer is the worst time of the year, as there are more teens on the road driving, and fatalities increase.

After learning of this campaign, and sitting down to visit the website while my daughter prepared to get her Driver's License, I understood that my role in this next chapter of her life didn't just depend on how much I told her. It actually depended more on what she saw me do when she was sitting next to me in the car as we drove to school, or as I took her to auditions and rehearsals, or as she accompanied me to one of my culinary events. It was during those quiet moments when she had her headphones on and I thought she wasn't looking, that she was paying the most attention. Did you know that 91% of teens agree that parents are a key influence on teen driving? What's more impacting is that 61% of teens model their driving behavior after their parents. Uh oh... What was I showing my daughter? Furthermore, 88% of parents use their phone while driving (guilty?) and the scary part is that 87% of teens admit to using it as well. Is that a coincidence? Probably not.

Buckle Up

It is facts like these and memories of my daughter reminding me to put my cell phone down when I get behind the wheel, that prompted me to keep reading the Allstate Foundation Resources and take a more active role in preparing her to drive safely. On this site you will find a Coaching Guide you can download to help you feel more at ease when letting your teen take the wheel for the first time, a Driving Agreement you can have your teen sign before you hand over the keys that will make him/her understand the rules of the road, and a Teen Laws Section that exposes teens, through videos, to the full driving experience. All of these guides and videos are available in both English and Spanish.

Concentrate on the road

I highly recommend you read up. It's a scary time, but it's part of growing up.  If you have a teen that has started to drive or a tween that will be driving soon, there is a wealth of information you will find on the Allstate Foundation website that will make your life easier. Besides the helpful tips, Allstate is also holding a sweepstakes, where they are giving away $1,000 to a winner everyday for 10 days (Contest ends July 3). To enter the contest, just share your safe driving message on Twitter and Instagram, tagging @Allstate and using the hashtag #GetThereSafe. You can also enter on Facebook, by commenting below the posted stat for the day on the Allstate Facebook Page, then tagging @Allstate and also using the hashtag #GetThereSafe. For more information on the sweepstakes, and to view all the statistics you need to know on teen driving safety, visit the Allstate Foundation website and help your teen #GetThereSafe.  In the meantime, get a load of my teen as she safely drives through the streets of Miami.

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