For the last year I’ve been doing carpool to soccer practice with several other families. When it’s my turn, I usually take about six kids - four boys and two girls.
To say it’s loud would be a huge understatement. At times, it’s kinda like a version of Animal House, but this one features eight-year-olds, although I don’t tolerate potty talk. They’re just having a good time, cutting loose after school.
If I get a phone call while I’m driving, I either let my daughter answer it or I just let it ring. I figure, I’m hauling a very precious commodity. I don’t want to be distracted. The kids are distraction enough.
But the other day when I was carpooling, I noticed another parent who was also carpooling. This parent wasn’t just driving a car full of kids. This parent was also looking at something on their phone, speeding down the road!
We all know how quickly an accident can happen. You take your eyes off the road for one second and the driver of the car in front of you slams on their brakes or someone makes a quick turn. In the blink of an eye, your life and the lives of the kids in your car could be forever changed.
I emceed the Johnston County Teen Driving Summit this past weekend. The goal was to get teens to do only one thing in the car, the most important thing, drive. One of the speakers said when you're behind the wheel, you're basically operating a weapon.
If you think about how much damage a car can do, you realize it's true. The message doesn't just apply to teens. It applies to us all. It's our responsibility to drive safely and to set an example for our kids. Is it worth the risk to send that quick text or make that short phone call when it comes to the safety of your children?
I admit it. I've taken a phone call before with my kids in the car. But not again. I can live without my phone. I can't live without my kids.