Most teens look forward to the freedom driving provides and parents are
often equally as excited to watch their son or daughter grow up to face
new experiences and challenges. However, along with this excitement, there
is an element of worry. Parents know that driving can be fun, that it
can be liberating, but that it can also be dangerous. Car accidents remain
the leading cause of death among 14-18 year olds according to the N.C.
Department of Transportation.
As the lead agency for Safe Kids Catawba County, CVMC actively helps promote
teen driver safety by challenging parents to engage teens in ongoing discussions
about critical driving practices. It also offers help to ease concerns
and establish a basis of trust with a program called
Countdown2drive that can help families build passenger agreements.
Countdown2drive program, Parents can sleep better and teens can earn the respect and trust they
deserve,”said Kayla Hefner, Safe Kids Catawba County Coordinator/CVMC
Child Health and Safety Specialist.
A parent-driver contract may seem rather formal, but it is nothing more
than a symbol of the great passage of knowledge that goes into learning
to drive responsibly. It’s not the sort of contract that would ever
hold up in any court, but more of a pact. It’s a pact between parent
and teen that says that says nothing more than “I’ll be a
good teacher, if you will be a good student”.
Countdown2drive is a free, interactive web-based tool designed to help
parents emphasize safety messages and create a customized safe driving
agreement. It helps start the important conversations parents need to
have with young drivers to clarify expectations, specify rules and offers
the option of establishing rewards and/or consequences.
The Safe Kids coalition combines the efforts of various community agencies
and individuals sharing the mission of creating safer homes and communities
for children through public awareness, education and community action.
The organization has reduced the number of accidental injuries in children
by 53% between 1987 and 2009. For more information about Safe Kids Catawba
County, contact Kayla Hefner at CVMC Health First – 828.326.2300