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Texting & Driving

something like, ‘I’m not going to look at that text right now. It can wait. I am concentrating on the road and making safety a priority.’ “And, when you do see something in the world around you that you might not have noticed if your head had been looking down at a device, make mention of it,” says Dimerman. “‘Wow. Am I glad that I was looking up when that old high school friend passed by me. I would never have seen and renewed contact with her otherwise.’ Your teen will never know you rehearsed it in your head first!” If the message isn’t getting through to your teen, make it clear that access to the car and cellphone are privileges that can be taken away if they are being misused.

Spreading the word After years of recovery time, Vernie is working to turn his tragedy into a positive lesson for others. He travelled to schools in Manitoba and spoke to students about texting and driving, hoping to inspire other teens to avoid it at all costs. “I wanted everyone who continued to text and drive to experience how hard life was for me and my family after the accident. It makes me very angry at how selfish people are by texting and driving. It’s simply not worth it. Not only are you putting your own life in danger but you’re endangering the lives of other drivers on the road as well.” Feedback from the students was mixed, says Vernie. “Some girls and teachers were in tears while the guys were pretty

straight-faced and emotionless. I remember at a school I spoke to in Brandon, everyone was so attentive, and as I finished and was leaving the parking lot, what did I see? Yup, a kid texting and driving.” One can only hope he got the message of the dangers of texting and driving before it was too late. ■

HITTING HOME

Feel like the words aren’t sinking in? show your teen this video, which includes comments from Vernie, the woman who saved him and real news footage from the accident. It could make all the difference. Go to Youtube.com and search “Vernie Texting.”

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Profile for INBETWEEN Magazine

INBETWEEN Oct/Nov 2014  

In our Oct/Nov issue, cover girl NeNe Leakes dishes on her changing ways, the truth about teens & Tinder, why teens are still texting and dr...

INBETWEEN Oct/Nov 2014  

In our Oct/Nov issue, cover girl NeNe Leakes dishes on her changing ways, the truth about teens & Tinder, why teens are still texting and dr...

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