Saturday, July 16, 2011

Leading Cause of Death

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16 to 20 year olds.  Having earned your driver's permit, I need to tell you so much.  I'll begin with...I still remember, like it was yesterday, attending the funeral of my dad's friend's teen daughter. She was a passenger in a car full of her friends "driving around" at night. The driver took a curve too quickly and rolled the car. Driver lived. Passenger, this sweet girl, died. Just. Like. That.  I expect and please do:

Wear your seat belt. Make this an automatic habit.
Be alert. Be well-fed, hydrated, and rested, especially after athletics and working many or odd hours. No chemicals that impair judgement and reaction time.
Avoid distractions.  Just drive.  No cell phones, food, make-up, loud friends, music.  Nothing.  Just your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.
Be considerate and non-reactive. Other drivers will be rude, make mistakes, or disrespect you.  Who cares. 
Stay humble.  Don't underestimate your inexperience.  Avoid speeding, purposeless driving, and driving at night.

We don't control everything, but we do control all of the above.  For the rest:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, grant me
a steady hand and watchful eye,
that none be hurt as I pass by.
Thou givest life. I pray no act of mine
take away or mar that gift Divine.
Protect those, Lord, who travel with me
from highway dangers and all anxiety.
Teach me to use my car for others' needs
and never miss the beauty of Thy
world through excessive speed.
I pledge to drive with loving concern
to my every destination,
offering each travel hour to Thee
in a spirit of reparation.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
my auto Companion,
have mercy on me.
Be safe, kid.  Your life is precious to me.