I Care! Just Help Them Drive
“As a new driver, I listen and observe closely what my parents say about safe driving, but sometimes their words don’t match their actions behind the wheel,” says Rina Matarasso.
“I caught myself, a couple of times, mapping on the phone while driving,” says Charlie Matarasso, Rina’s dad. “I take quick glances at my phone to see if I missed a call. I know I shouldn’t do it and I tell my daughter not to, but I still do it sometimes.”
A survey conducted by State Farm® in 2011 reported 54 percent of teens have seen their parents using a phone while driving. Parents are one of the most important influences on teen drivers and how they handle themselves behind the wheel creates a powerful example for their teens.
“My dad doesn’t really fully stop at a stop sign,” says Andres Bonilla. “My parents also have a habit of checking their phone at a traffic light. I see what they do. Is it okay for me to do the same?”
The Humanity Project and students at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida worked with peers, parents and community auto safety advocates to create an online safe driving booklet for parents called, “I Care! Just Help Them Drive!” The Humanity Project is a non-profit organization, supported by State Farm®, which creates innovative, arts-based programs to help youth solve social problems.
“The booklet offers parents, in a witty and memorable fashion, why they need to practice what they preach to their teenage drivers – with tips about how to do that,” says Bob Knotts, founder of The Humanity Project. It includes a comic strip created by Rina and advice to parents from a teenage professional car driver, Jarret Voorhies.
Driving can be stressful for everyone, especially parents of teen drivers. “I’ve seen the look of terror in my own parents’ eyes when I drive,” says Jarret Voorhies. “Here are four things I’ve learned from racing that parents can teach their teens:”
Listen as Rina and her dad talk with Bob Knotts about the impact parents have on teen drivers. The full podcast can be found on The Humanity Project website.
“I Care! Just Help Them Drive!” is an expansion of the first online booklet, “I Care, Just Let Me Drive.” Both were created by teens, for teens to share among each other and with their parents. The Humanity Project plans to promote “I Care! Just Help Them Drive!” with high schools, PTA’s and auto safety organizations nationwide. To read more of the advice shared by teens, download the free booklet.