It seems only appropriate on this Mother’s Day 2013 to let all of you know how much we appreciate all that you do to care for and protect your children. And when we think about protecting our teens and children, we know you share our concern for keeping the lines of communication open (and safe) as it relates to text messaging behind the wheel.
In some states, like Iowa for example, younger teens can drive to school at 14 years old all by themselves and many indeed do! Sometimes, it seems like all our children, including my 4 children, are texting all day long, all the time. Mothers, today is truly your day, and we want to wish you a happy Mother’s Day by thanking you for being vigilant about ensuring that your teens are driving responsibly, while at the same time helping instill self-reliance and responsibility in them by doing what you can to make it ‘your’ teen’s idea’ for them to be careful about avoiding texting while driving (TWD). Haha! I have learned – perhaps the hard way – that the best way to get my teens to do what I feel is best for them, and with the least amount of friction, is to make them feel that doing the right thing, the prudent thing, the thing I want them to do … is in fact “their own idea”.
For the Mothers out there actively working for better driving safety in your own communities and in the names of the children that you have lost, our hats go off to you for your works! We want to know who all of you are, so please reach out to us. And if you are having an event in your local community, let us know, and maybe, just maybe, we can make it there to help your cause and promote your all important message.
So many children die every year, from disease, famine, murder, suicide, terrorism, the common cold, pneumonia, freak infections, accidents, and from other causes that often appear to be inexplicable and beyond our control. But when a child or teen dies in a car accident due to someone’s distracted driving or TWD, you, the Mothers of these lost children, know better than anyone that your terrible loss was avoidable. The scope of this distracted driving problem among teens is borne out by the following statistics, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2009 (i) 12% of the people who died in distracted driving crashes in 2009 were teens 15 to 19 years old, (ii) 64% of the people killed during a teen (15 to 19 years old) distracted driving crash were in fact teens age 15 to 19 years old, and (iii) nearly 600 teen (15 to 19 years old) drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted. See NHTSA Teen Distracted Driver Data, October 16-22, 2011. Whether resulting from driver negligence or recklessness, the fact remains that it was a tragedy that could have been prevented, and we know your associated grief and sorry will never completely heal. Indeed, we carry your losses with us as an inspiring reminder as we traverse the country with our Text Kills™ tour bus. Over the past 2 ½ years or so, we have taken our message of safe driving on the road to more than 500 events, having collected more than 100,000 pledges on the sides of our old beat up bus, and with every 20 or so pledges, it seems like we invariably meet someone who has been directly affected by the calamity that is distracted driving or TWD.
Please accept our undying love and appreciation for all you do, and our deepest sympathies for your losses of loved ones. Even 1 loss of life due to distracted driving or TWD is just too much. Please help us to help you spread your messages and your story!
As defined in Wikipedia, “Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March or May. It complements Father’s Day, a similar celebration honoring fathers.”
God Bless all mothers today!
Text Kills® Co-Founder