It's every parent's worst nightmare -- or at least one of my worst nightmares: six Ohio teens were killed and two more were injured when their SUV struck a guardrail, turned over, and crashed into a swamp. (The two teens who survived apparently escaped by smashing a window and swimming to shore, where they ran to a nearby residence and called 911.)
Authorities aren't sure what caused the crash yet, though the vehicle was overloaded with passengers -- none of whom, it's being reported, were wearing seat belts. Now, I honestly can't say if seat belts would have saved the teens who lost their lives so tragically in this underwater crash, but the fact that they weren't wearing them just makes the whole thing that much more horrifying to me as a mom. My kids aren't teens yet but one will be soon -- and the more independence our kids have, the less control we have.
I'm pretty much okay with that idea, at least theoretically -- I'd like to be able to trust my kids to make the right choices. But the truth is, I can't be sure that they'll always wear their seat belts if I'm not in the car or that they'll never get in a car with a driver who's been drinking (or get behind the wheel themselves). You can spend every day of your kid's life reinforcing basic safety rules, and still, one lapse in adolescent judgment can render it all meaningless.
What can we do but hope and pray our kids don't make the same type of split-second fatal decisions?
Image via CNN