This is the season for photographs. We commemorate proms, graduations, summer vacations and gathering of family and friends by snapping lots of pictures. We send them to one another in texts and post them on Facebook. It is a season of celebration and relaxation.
However, for many families, this also becomes the season to have those pictures abruptly come to an end. There will be no more goofy faces of their teen locking arms with friends and hamming it up for the camera. Eventually, the clothes being worn in the photos become dated; reminding us how much time has gone by since we saw our loved one.
I am a mother who grieves because all I have left are pictures from 20 years ago of my 15-year-old daughter who was in the car of a 17-year-old drinking driver when she was killed. How I would love to have newer pictures commemorating current joyful moments. How I long for that…
This is the season that has been labeled the “100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers.” More teens die in traffic crashes during each of the summer months than during non-summer months.
I encourage parents to remain vigilant in keeping your children safe during these dangerous months, as well as year round. Set driving boundaries for your teens by limiting passengers, restricting night driving, insisting on seat belts, and eliminating trips without purpose. I urge you to continue your conversations about not drinking alcohol until they are 21 and never getting in the car with someone who has been drinking. Most important, let them know you are there for them.
I wish you many lovely summer days, with many more photos commemorating wonderful events and beautiful memories.
MADD National President