April/May 2014 

   Presents           "Spotlight on Parenting"
                       Teen Take on Distracted Driving --

Lead Up To Suburban Square

Community Event on April 26th and 27th


By Peter Dissenger, Youth Advisory Committee Member and

Senior at Friends Central High School 


        It is no stretch to say that distracted driving is an epidemic in today's world. Every month, it seems as if I am hearing about another car accident that was caused by a driver's lack of attention to the road. Whether it is texting, fiddling with the radio, calling a friend, or even managing the GPS, there are so many easy ways for any driver to become distracted in an instant. This is especially true for teens, including myself. Maybe it's a notification from our incredibly useful smart phones or even an inclination to be reckless, but research shows that teenagers are especially at risk for these types of behaviors. 

In a recent survey done by the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), which I helped to create and administer, we found that 84% of students who drove at the time they took the survey admitted to driving distracted at least once or twice in the past year. It may seem shocking to some adults, but from my perspective, this is not radical data; it is the real experience of so many teenagers (and probably adults as well). As I have worked on the YAC's campaign against distracted driving, I have found that it is challenging to find ways to actually change a teenager's driving habits. However, here are a few tips that I have learned from working with my peers and some of the leading experts in the distracted driving field.  
  • Put your phone away in a hard to reach place and drive without it. You may find it challenging to ignore the calling of your friends, but you'll have less distractions to deal with. 
  • If you need to answer calls, using Bluetooth at least keeps your hands free (although wireless calling still diverts your attention from the road).
  • Set GPS coordinates BEFORE your drive! It's an easy step and saves a lot of hassle in the car.
  • Try not to multitask. Even the simple act of eating and driving can have catastrophic consequences.
  • Pull over if something besides driving is calling for your attention!
        As I mentioned above, the Youth Advisory Council, which is sponsored by the Coalition of Lower Merion and Narberth, is running a campaign dedicated to preventing distracted driving among teenagers. As a culmination to our year of work and research, we will be co-hosting an event with StreetSafe Driving Academy, a local driving school taught by current and former Police Officers.                                                                                                                                  
The community event will be held at the Courtyard of Suburban Square on Saturday, April 26th from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 27th from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. We will show videos that aim to educate the public about distracted driving and we will present the findings of our survey from last fall. Additionally, StreetSafe will advertise their fantastic driving school and we will also have informative activities throughout the event. Whether you are a parent with a child who is driving, a teenager with a senior license, or someone who is about to get their permit, we guarantee you will learn something if you come by our booth at the Courtyard of Suburban Square.                                                                                                                                            

Community Events
"Put the Brakes on 
Distracted Driving"
Sponsored by 
The Coalition for Youth of Lower Merion and Narberth and 
StreetSafe Driving Academy
Saturday, April 26th from
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
and Sunday, April 27th from
12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Courtyard of Suburban Square
For Further Details, Click Here 

Stress Reducing Yoga for Students
6 sessions on Fridays from   
 April 4th to May 9th at 4:00 p.m.
New Leaf Club
For Further Details, Click Here

Minding Your Mind's 4th Annual

Run For Your Mind

5K Run/One Mile Fun Run/Walk

Sunday, April 6th at 8:30 a.m.

South Ardmore Park

For further details, Click Here


Supporting Children 
Through Divorce

Tuesday, April 22nd and 29th

7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

For further details, Click Here 



In The News 
What do standardized tests show for our college-bound students
A study finds little difference
 in academic success of
students who do not submit
SAT or ACT scores.  Read More 


Six things your teen/tween
 is learning from you  
While friends have an enormous impact during these years, so do parents.   Read More 


College students can learn to drink less, if schools help
Different studies have shown that interventions can help reduce drinking.  Read More.  
Since 1999, the Coalition has been providing programs and resources to build assets in our children, our families, 
and our community, to help reduce stress, alcohol use, drug use, violence, and other risky behavior among youth.

Coalition for Youth 

P.O. Box 23, Narberth, PA 19063

(484) 337-8731