I humbly tell my friends and people in my faith community that I've been involved in pro ministry for almost 40 years. I started in youth work and continue to hammer away at this passion that God planted deep within my soul years ago. Welcoming children…honestly and forthrightly and courageously doing whatever it takes so that everyone in our community understands that "children are treasured here" is one of my highest values. So, issues related to kids and students still draw my interest. That's why I've been a HUGE FAN of the Center for Youth and Parent Understanding. I've seen youth and children's ministries come and go over the decades. In fact, I've been a part of some youth movements that I wish still had vitality. Even so, CPYU is one of the best. It is not only a leader in cultural research but also takes solid, non-hypocritical and VERY HELPFUL stances that adults who loves kids (especially parents) can put into practice immediately.
So, if you are a parent or someone who cares about kids and students, sign up on CPYU's email lists NOW! Do it!
Just to give you a taste of what I'm talking about, Walt Mueller (CPYU's founder and leader) posted some interesting things on his blog today regarding students and cell-phone use. If I had a kid, I would download this stuff (
Download Texting_While_Driving_Factsheet) and have some honest conversation with my kids about what all this means in their lives. Technology is the native environment for these younger generations…giving them guidance and encouragement on how to navigate the exciting but also potentially dangerous aspects of it is a HUGE task that those of us who love kids MUST grasp and bring to action in our relationships.
So, here are some highlights of Mueller's blog:
Cell Phones, Texting and Driving at a Glance:
- More than 4 out of 5 teen drivers admit to using their cell phone while driving.
- Research shows that hands-free cell phone use while driving is no less dangerous than using a hand-held phone. It's the conversation – not the type of device – that's the distraction.
- Over half of all teen drivers admit to texting or emailing while driving. Teenage and young adult drivers are the age group most likely to send a text or read an email while driving.
- Teens say that texting is the number one driving distraction.
- Texting and driving is a form of distraction. Almost 80 percent of all vehicle crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some type of driver inattention or distraction during the three seconds before the crash or near-crash.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving impairs drivers at a rate equal to a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.
- The National Safety Council estimates that at least 200,000 crashes a year are caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving results in 330,000 distracted driving injuries a year.
- About 6,000 people a year die as a result of using their phone while driving.
When You Text and Drive:
- You are four times more likely to cause an accident than when you drive drunk or talk on a cell phone.
- You are 23 times more likely to crash.
- You are taking your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that equals driving the length of a football field while wearing a blindfold.
- Your response time diminishes greatly. The average time it takes a drunk driver to respond and apply the brakes is 4 times more than normal. The average time it takes a texting driver to respond and apply the brakes is 40 times more than normal. Still, most young drivers view texting and driving as less dangerous than drunk driving.
- You risk injuring/killing yourself and others. It results in car crashes that kill an average of 11 teenagers a day.