Listen to What Mom, Dad Say

Many of us remember wishing mom and dad would just shut up. They always had so much advice and so many warnings, especially right after we got our driver’s licenses.

Three 16-year-old Oak Glen High School students were killed in a car crash Saturday night. Within seconds their evening changed from a carefree ride in a car to tragedy.

If you are a teenager, understand this: What happened Saturday night is why your parents badger you so with warnings to buckle your seat belt, pay attention to the road, don’t drive too fast, don’t talk on your cell phone while driving, and on and on and on and on.

Your parents may well have lost friends or other family members in traffic accidents. They may know people whose children have been maimed or even killed in crashes. Several times during their lives they have heard the terrible news about young people whose lives ended that way.

Please God, some of your parents say each and every time they hand you the car keys, please keep my child safe.

Your parents know that sometimes, even when a driver thinks he’s being careful, things go wrong on the road.

They may have spent countless hours trying to show you not just how to move a motor vehicle from one place to another, but how to do so in the safest way possible.

They follow that up with mini-lectures on keeping your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel, about not letting the chatter of friends distract you, about paying attention to road conditions – about a hundred things about which you wish you didn’t have to listen.

And when you walk out the door, car keys in hand, they say silent prayers for your safety.

You wonder why taking a drive is such a big deal. You and your friends may even make fun of mom and dad. You can take care of yourself.

They know better.

Much of what your parents tell you “for your own good” is to ensure you will do well later in life. But when they talk to you about driving safely, it’s different. It may be a matter of life or death, and they understand that.

They do it because of what happened Saturday night. Three kids, whose parents almost undoubtedly talked to them about driving safely, are dead. Three kids who thought they were being careful are gone.

This is why mom and dad lecture you and ask so many questions. Please, we beg of you, think about that the next time you ask for the car keys.