This post was written as part of my association with TeenDrive365 and the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic. For more information on the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic, please visit http://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e.
Although it may seem like it was many moons ago, it’s only been 14 years since I left my teen years. As one of the most confusing times in my life, I can’t help but think about all of the dumb things I did during my stint as an adolescent. To be fair, teenagers are still building up their brain power and make stupid decisions because of their blossoming bodies, hormones, and somewhat incomplete mindset. But man, we sure did do some dangerous and unnecessary things.
For me, it was driving. I was a teenage maniac. Well, when my parents were in the car, I faired well. I did the speed limit, kept the music down and responsibly placed my hands on “ten and two” just like my driving instructor told me. But, when it was just me and my girls, I drove like nobody’s business. Music turned up loud, giggling, screaming and speeding up at the sight of any yellow light. My teenage driver mentality never really fit my everyday demeanor. I was pleasant, and bit of a nervous Nellie about anything else in life. Boys made my pits sweat, and getting anything but an A or B on a test caused heart palpitations. Driving was my one bad thing. It was the one thing I knew I could do well in front of the folks, and then take it up a few notches when I was on my own.
My poor father’s car ended up being a constant casualty. One time I took his car to a girlfriend’s house, and I realized that I needed to be home in 10 minutes for curfew. Instead of calling to tell them I’d be late LIKE A NORMAL PERSON, I decided to speed from across town to get home on time. In the process of my fast and furious session, I ended up hitting my dad’s passenger side mirror against a parked car’s driver side mirror. Did I stop? Nope, I didn’t. Luckily, my dad’s mirror was still intact once I got home, but I have no clue if I ruined the other car’s mirror. I still wish to this day that I had some kind of real world advice given to me before I started to drive. Someone to talk to my parents and me about how teenagers REALLY drive, and how they can be as safe as possible.
This is why I love Toyota. They are now offering Teen Driver Safety Clinics. These TeenDrive365 events are FREE 2.5 hour non-driving sessions that provide both pre-driver and new drivers, as well as their parents, with a beyond basic approach to road safety. Families participate in hands-on activities in class and around the car to promote safe-driving behavior. Within September and Ocotober, Toyota will be offering their clinics in Freehold and Springfield, NJ, as well as many other dealerships in New Jersey and New York. I will be sure to spread the word to my friends and family members with teen drivers. To find sign up for a Teen Driver Safety Clinic in your area, check out the TeenDrive365 Events list.