Life lessons on road safety that you teach your kids

By Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason Philippine Daily Inquirer January 23,2019

Aside from aiming to put smarter, safer drivers behind the wheel, the DSFL program also gives driving lessons to kids.

We can’t stress enough how vital it is to teach the younger generation to become disciplined road users.

Not only will this solve a chunk of our traffic woes but will also lessen the accidents on the road.

A few weeks ago, I read that some people in Congress are trying to pass laws that will include proper road usage in the K-12 curriculum.

I believe this is the long term solution that we are all waiting for. The problem is it’s not gaining traction in the legislative scene because it is not sexy enough to get splashed on the front pages or shared enough on social media to become viral.

Nothing gets media attention better than a sex scandal, a new Land Transportation Office law, or Kris Aquino’s ahhs and oohs.

What we are missing is that teaching our kids to be disciplined on the road will also make them better human beings.

Your mindset both in life and the road is the same because they are both stressful situations if you choose them to be.

Below are some road safety lessons that you should teach your kids to make them a better human being on the road.

Teach by example. No matter what you teach, if you don’t practice, it will never hit home.

If you tell your teenager to be cool-headed while driving, but you go on a screaming fit when someone cuts you on the road, you are a contradiction.

Always give priority to pedestrians. On the road, the pedestrian is the smaller guy, we on the cars are the big guys.

This simple act of courtesy will teach your kids not to be a bully and also be humble even though you have the upper hand.

Line up before making a turn. Let’s face it. We live in a world where getting ahead or being a jerk is applauded.

It’s so tempting to overtake those who are patiently lining up and waiting their turn, then looking back to tell them: “So long, suckers.”

But is this the kind of person you want your kids to be?

Apologize when you make a mistake. It happens to the best of us. We decide to squeeze our car in the space in front without realizing we had just caused a gridlock.

Our usual response is to be stone-faced and not move an inch. But the decent thing to do is to admit your fault by raising your hand and looking at those people you blocked, then either back up or move forward to give them space to move forward.

Apologizing for your mistake and finding a way to correct the situation is a learning process people should never miss. If we don’t admit our mistakes, we will never know why things go wrong.

Tell them to slow down on yellow. We all know the joke that says “yellow means go faster,” and it really is quite funny, but we also know a saying that jokes are half meant.

When we tell our kids to slow down, we teach them to exercise caution, which is an excellent way to approach all things—on the road and in life.

Tell them to prepare early. My son asked me out on a date the other day for some catching-up time. One of the things on his agenda was to try to convince me to allow him to dorm since he is studying up north while we live in the south.

It didn’t work. Instead, I asked him to prepare early, plan his day, and manage his time wisely. Not only will this teach him resilience but also time management and planning—all important life lessons.

Keep your car in tip-top shape. Your car is an extension of yourself. When you keep it regularly checked and maintained, it runs long and true. If you don’t take care of your car, it will be worrisome and cranks out on you often. This is also true with your body.

A good number of us are “life lesson or enlightenment” junkies (if you don’t believe me, check how many quotes you have liked and shared on social media).

We all want to think that there is more to life than our worries and challenges.

As parents, we all are worried that we might be bringing up an a-hole. But sometimes, we overlook something so mundane like the daily drive as an opportunity to teach valuable lessons of kindness, courtesy, and grace.

So next time you feel lazy about teaching and preaching road safety, just remember the deeper level of life lesson you are imparting. Besides, these lessons will also help save his life.

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