Texting While Driving: Your Feedback

Texting on a keyboard phone

Wow. Yesterday's post, which showed a fairly shocking new PSA on teen texting while driving, has created a bit of a splash, with people discussing it on Facebook and Twitter. Many said they were going to show the video to their teens. One woman promised to send it to her texting-crazed sister.

But one woman commented, in a very thoughtful message, that she thought the video was far too graphic for her teens. She said she didn't allow her teens to see R-rated movies and she thought there were better ways to get the point across than to show them a video that was potentially nightmare-causing.

I appreciated her thoughtful comment, and it made me think. I do believe you have to know your individual kid to know how to handle these
decisions. (And boy, they
don't seem to get easier!)

I think a lot of kids hear Mom or Dad
talking about driving safety (or being a safe passenger) and it sounds
like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon: "Wah wah, wah wah wah…" They
see themselves as being talented multitaskers — and Mom and Dad as being
hopelessly out of touch.

For some, it might take the shock of
seeing exactly what can happen in a moment of inattention to really
grab them by the collar and say "PAY ATTENTION!"

funny. Yesterday I was complaining about Matt saying I'm the mom who
won't let him see R-rated movies at 13. And today I made sure he saw
this shocking, violent PSA video. I guess I don't put them in the same category.

But I respect this mom's opinion. I think we all know best how to reach our own kids.

What do you think? Is it too graphic to show to your teen? Or is it just the wake-up call some kids need?

P.S. Check out this October 2008 post, "Put Down the Cell Phone: Save a Life — Important Advice for Parents & Teens" on Geneseevalleyparent.com. The post was written by a high school intern at the magazine, Stephanie DeCross. From the post: "…We could reflect on and learn from recent tragedies like the one in
Fairport where texting may have caused a terrible accident which cost
five graduating seniors their lives. Reports noted that moments before
the crash a cell phone was used from within the vehicle to send and
receive messages. The young women involved were in the wrong place at
the wrong time… and possibly preoccupied by this fatal distraction. They
were not, as we are not, invincible."

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5 Responses to “Texting While Driving: Your Feedback”

  1. The tv spot is graphic, but it’s real. For years, in driver’s education teens have been shown very graphic videos and images of drunk driving fatalities… how is this any different?
    We had a high school intern last year write a great piece for us about texting and driving. One of our area high schools started a club to promote a campaign to make teens think about safe driving. You can check out the piece here: http://www.gvparent.com/Articles/2810texting.html?magazineid=786_2
    Best thing I think is for parents to talk to their kids honestly.

  2. Kathy Sena says:

    Jillian, I thought Stephanie’s post was so important, I went back and edited today’s post to to include it. Please let her know. Thanks. She’s a smart young woman.

  3. Whatever it takes to impress upon kids that safety and common sense are essential when driving…. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.
    P.S.There was a study done recently showing that “multitasking” in any form isn’t a good thing for anyone, anyhow. Texting while driving is an extreme example…

  4. Shane says:

    They don’t belong in the same category. This should be shown to all kids, especially those who haven’t been desensitized to violence through viewing of PG+ movies and the like. The message is clear:
    You aren’t invulnerable.
    You can’t multitask.
    You ARE NOT smarter than your parents.
    And we are not trying to spoil your fun; we’re trying to keep you alive.