As I mentioned on here not too long ago, I was invited to attend the Allstate Foundation's Drive It Home show in Rockford, IL this week. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect; this is the first driving safety show/presentation I have attended, and I was expecting something pretty dry and, while necessary, somewhat boring. Before I give any details, let me just say I was completely wrong!
We arrived a few minutes early for the show, so we were able to check in and drop our names in the box for the gas card drawing that was held at the end of the evening. My guest and I were offered cookies and water, then we made our way to the actual theater to find seating. Our host for the show came out to introduce himself, and share some general information about the program. He also gave a schedule, and I was interested to learn that we would be hearing from a local Allstate agent, the National Safety Council, and also enjoy a small play, that was designed to "drive home" the facts about teen driving. He also asked for some crowd participation, and got the evening started by asking a couple parents to share a few suggestions they typically give their teens about driving. Most of these were serious (don't text; make sure to buckle, etc.) but one mother shared that she would tell them to "crank up the a/c"!
From there we were led right into the play. Dr. Bill arrived, and introduced his guests from California; Sheila, and her 16 year old daughter Maggie. Including a few "commercial breaks", this took about 30 minutes or so, and Dr. Bill encouraged Sheila to lead by example, and help Maggie with safe driving, rather than getting hysterical when, for example, Maggie didn't turn the radio completely down. He also mentioned to Maggie that her mom had rules because she cares about her, and wants her to be a safe driver.
Next up was the Allstate agent, who shared a few facts about teen driving, and then introduced the gentleman from the National Safety Council. This was a local man who has 2 teen drivers of his own, so he shared personal experience, as well as statistics. Did you know that teens are 50% more likely to have a car crash if they have one teenage passenger in the car with them? I was amazed at some of the facts he shared. He didn't leave parents hanging though, but shared some ideas and tips, many of which you can access through the Allstate Foundation.
One sad part of the evening, that did however drive home the importance of driving safety, was when a mother got up and shared her story of how her teenage daughter was involved in a car crash. Thankfully her daughter survived, but unfortunately the driver, another teen, did not. This was hard to hear, but was shared for a reason, and hopefully some of the teens there will change their driving because of it.
All in all, I really thought the entire show was very well done. It was not dry and boring, or overloaded with statistics and facts, but at the same point, wasn't silly and stupid, so teens and parents will take it seriously. One thing I would like to see changed, is a couple parts I didn't consider as family-friendly; one man spelled out dam* while talking to his "daughter". Also, at the end of the skit, a "pop singer" came out and did a little song, but I didn't appreciate the security/sidekick, who was moving a little too sensuously for a family program. Other than this, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend both parents and teens to attend if the show comes nearby.
Very quickly, I'd like to share some Illinois driving information I learned at the show, and also some info about the Drive It Home show itself.
Parents say it’s very important for their teen to learn a variety of skills behind the wheel, but
aren’t teaching their teen to manage the highest risk driving situations.
- Nearly 29% of Illinois parents are not covering how to manage the deadly risks – such as nighttime driving and driving with young passengers – with their teens. Oddly enough, parents and teens agree that they should have
- spent more time practicing in dangerous conditions, according to The Allstate Foundation survey.
- o If they had it to do over again, seven out of 10 parents in Illinois said they would expose their
- o More than half of Illinois teens (55%) wish their parents had spent more time teaching them to
- teens to higher-risk driving situations when teaching their teens to drive.
- One of the most dangerous years in a person’s life is the first 12 months after getting a driver’s license. Annually, there are about two million teens under the age of 18 in their first year ofdriving on U.S. roads, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports.
- Among the lifesaving recommendations and resources at driveithome.org:
- Drive at least 30 minutes each week with a newly licensed teen.
- Practice specific skills together and provide teens with feedback in the following critical areas:
- Scanning the road ahead to recognize and respond to hazards.
- Controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance.
- Judging the gap between vehicles in traffic – such as when exiting parking lots and making left-hand turns.
- Managing the highest driving risks, such as nighttime driving and with young passengers in the car.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.