The No. 1 cause of death to young people: car crashes.
You might have been expecting pool drownings, gun shots or accidents. No. Car crashes. What is exceptionally tragic is that most car crashes are preventable. Despite being the top cause of death to our young, this fact does not grab the media spotlight.
Here are things you can do to keep your kids — and everyone else's safe. Starting right now.
If you are a mother, then you have patience. You were pregnant for nine months, so you can certainly manage without your phone for whatever distance you are traveling in a car. Don't even opt for hands-free, as it is still not safe. Your children are watching you. Seventy-seven teens die every week here in America due to car crashes. Your toddler will one day be driving. When the phone rings, say, "I don't touch my phone when I'm driving. It's not safe."
2. Stop speeding.
Most fatal car accidents involving children occur within blocks of their home. I don't hesitate to yell, "Slow the f$%^ down!" at fellow moms racing by my 50-pound son as we walk to school. Who cares if you are late? If you kill someone while dropping your child off at school, it's going to make for a horrific day anyway.
You should be scared— and mad as hell.
3. Stop tailgating.
Remember the three second rule? Don't assume that driver in front of you is driving slowly for the sole purpose of being annoying. She may be driving at a slower speed to avoid hitting the car in front were she to have to slam on the brakes. Tailgating kills people. You don't have that in you, do you?
4. Become an advocate.
Road safety desperately needs the attention and voices of moms. Do not wait until you lose your own child. I have met countless moms who are now advocates for safer roads after losing their children in preventable ways — one child killed while crossing the street holding a dad's hand, another teen hit while running, a 13-year-old killed when a truck driver was texting and plowed into her bus. She was burned alive.
Speak up. Email your principal asking him or her to make your school zone safer.
Speak up if your spouse is speeding or using his or her phone.