Review of 3 Keys to Keeping Your Teen Alive
by Eca Paz Taylor
My daughter is the proud owner of a new Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (or temps). I am the owner of a whole new set of fears and anxieties. So, it was quite timely when the latest Your Teen addressed this new phase in our lives.
Several books were quoted in the article, and much to my daughter’s horror, I chose to read 3 Keys to Keeping Your Teen Alive by Anne Marie Hayes. The title sounds overdramatic, but reading this book made me realize how lightly we take the learning-to-drive process and how susceptible new drivers are to making life-altering bad decisions due to inexperience.
3 Keys to Keeping Your Teen Alive does include alarming information, for example, 16-year-old drivers have three times more crashes than 17-year-olds and five times more crashes than 18-year-olds. Dispersed throughout the book are stories about teens who lost their lives in car accidents and heart-breaking testimonials from their parents.
But, it’s not all about shock. It’s also a workbook that follows the Graduated Driver Licensing program. There is information at all stages, including what to do even before teens are eligible for their temps, as well as structured driving lessons, quizzes and crossword puzzles with each chapter. Additionally, there’s a companion website with links to the structured driving lessons and relevant videos.
We teach our teens to drive, but sometimes we forget to give them information about the actual vehicle they are driving. Hayes believes teens should understand the cars they drive. There is a section on the battery, tires, oil and fluids. One section covers how to jump start a car and change a flat tire. This was a great review for me since I don’t always think about my car and maintenance until the warning light appears.
In particular, I appreciated the section on helping a new driver plan how much time to allow driving somewhere. Personally, I never seem to give myself enough time and always feel rushed to get somewhere, so I thought it was a great idea to helps teens plan out the time before the driving. There is also a teen-parent contract that removes the gray area about the family driving rules and instills consequences. And lastly, there is a section devoted to adjusting mirrors so there are no blind spots! I have yet to try this, but I have high expectations that it will work.
I found this book incredibly informative, and it reveals so many important driving factors. As my daughter goes through her learning/training period, I find myself saying, “According to the book…” and she rolls her eyes. But the eye rolling doesn’t matter to me, keeping her alive does!