A terrible tragedy occurred recently in a shopping center parking lot. A driver was backing out of a parking space. He did not see the child behind him. These tragedies happen — sometimes through no fault of our own. But it is an opportunity to remind us that “mindful” driving is critical in our everyday lives.

And, now, with summer upon us, children will be out of school. Some will be off to summer camp. Some will spend precious time with family … and some will be on the streets, and in parking lots, walking, running or riding bikes.

Be extra careful when driving. Children sometimes walk along the street, not paying attention; ride bicycles going the wrong way; walk in front of or behind cars, even when they’re in motion.
These are times to be very cautious. Avoid distractions like texting, phone calls, or even drinking that cup of coffee while driving.

Speeding, of course, should always be avoided, but summer is so tempting with roads clear and with little traffic on some streets. These are just the times that we should take special care. A child could run into the street after a ball or ride out of his driveway on his bike. It’s just an instant … but one that could make the difference between life and death.

Dusk is a time when you should take special care. Shadows as the sun sets can camouflage a walking child or a jogger on the side of the road.

It is easy to get distracted. I recommend “mindful” driving. Drive, paying attention to your surroundings, people on the side of the road, bicycles going the wrong direction, flashing lights. Avoid those intense conversations on your cell phone or with the person next to you. Look twice before backing out of a parking space or driveway.

Now is also a good time to check your brakes and tires. A safe car means safer driving.

Make this season count in other ways, as well. During summer, our children may not be getting the daily nutrition necessary to keep them healthy and strong. Please consider making a donation to your favorite soup kitchen or charity – especially those that provide meals to our Utica area children during the summer months: The Salvation Army, Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen and Hope House are just a few places you can support.

And, remember, “mindful” driving is safe driving!

Share →