Does the term "Road Rage Nursery" ring a bell? Apparently the back seat of the car is now being called a road rage nursery. It is described this way, by the youth organization CARR or Children Against Road Rage - "Children, as passengers in cars and buses, are at risk of absorbing the hostile attitudes and risky practices of their adult drivers. This is an unconscious cultural transmission from one generation to the next that is injurious to the children now and later, when they become aggressive drivers."
Road rage is getting worse in this country, due to a combination of more driver interactions, greater diversity of drivers and increased cultural norm for aggressive driving behavior on the highway.
CARR provides traffic safety and proper road behavior materials and lessons for teachers to use with children. Activities include a Driving Awareness Form, surveys defining aggressive driving, driving observation exercises, checkmark lists for kids to take in the car to rate good and bad passenger behavior, and a worksheet on finding examples on TV programs of examples of bad drivers (which isn't hard to do). On TV kids see drivers taking their eyes off the road, cars chasing other cars, people jumping out of cars, cars trying to get away from police, and the list goes on.
Providing tools for children to learn good passenger behavior one way parents and teachers can help children to grow up to be responsible, safe drivers. Examples of good behavior on the list are: sitting quietly, acting calm, wearing your seatbelt, not distracting the driver, observing road conditions, etc. Examples of bad passenger behavior include: making noise or yelling, fighting, changing seats, not wearing a seatbelt, complaining about traffic, throwing something out the window, and more.
One tool parents might try is the use of "driving slogans" with their kids. Here are some examples:
Just go with the flow, no matter how slow
Drive smart, put a smile in our heart
They made a mistake? Give them a break!
Don't fight - drive right! Don't do wrong - just sing a song! Don't swear - learn to care!
Think bad, feel bad, be bad. Think nice, feel nice, be nice. It's your choice!
Drive under the influence of awareness. It may save a life.
Have you tried the right lane lately? It's nice and relaxing.
My favorite is the last one, "Have you tried the right lane lately? It's nice and relaxing." Maybe some of these slogans should be made into bumper stickers for people to put on their cars. Try out some of these slogans or encourage your kids to make up there own when locked into traffic or moving slowly. Or, try some mood changers with your kids such as singing, talking to your kids, listening to calm music, enjoying the scenery around you, and counting your blessings. Practicing good driving behavior is a win-win for everyone - you are preventing traffic accidents and personal injury, you are keeping yourself calm and in a good mood, and most importantly teaching your kids patience and setting the an example of good driving behavior instead of promoting road rage.
Continue reading "Preventing Road Rage Nursery - Driving Slogans for Kids" »