Archive for July, 2011

100 Days

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

100 days.  Memorial Day to Labor Day, the summer season, is only 100 days.  The  100 days that kids waited all year for, the 100 days that are so hot you are wishing for the cold Nebraska winter and the 100 days that are the most dangerous on the road.

For teenagers, 9 out of the 10 deadliest days on the road occur between May and August. It is a scary thought, that teens across the nation are at risk every time they get behind the wheel of a car. But, as much as you may want to as a parent, you can’t just lock them in their room until they turn 21, you have to let them experience life. There are though a few things you can do to help them keep safe on the road. 

By establishing ground rules for driving, you can reduce the risk of accidents for your teen. Rule number one should be no alcohol. While teens should be taught to not drink, period. It is especially important to talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving.  Young drivers are at a greater risk for crashing than adult drivers, even with low levels of alcohol in the blood, 31% of teen traffic deaths are alcohol related. If you are not sure how to start the conversation about alcohol with your teen, MADD can help with our Power of Parents Workshops (madd.org/powerofparents).

It is also important to set a no electronic devices while driving rule, texting and talking can wait until you are out of the car. Even better, turn off phones completely while behind the wheel. Also, insist your kids wear seatbelts at all times. Seatbelts are your best defense against a drunk driver. It is also a good idea to limit nighttime and weekend driving for your teen and limit the number of passengers allowed in the car while your teen is driving.

The roads are not only extra dangerous for teens over these 100 days of summer, overall crashes go up during these days. Law enforcement agencies, like the Nebraska State Patrol , plan special enforcements throughout the summer to increase safety for all drivers. Their efforts help to drive down the number of fatal crashes during these 100 days of summer.

It always amazes me how quickly these 100 days fly by, filled with fun family vacations and days so hot we flock to the closest pool, the days of summer slide by until we are feeling the brisk air of fall. It is up to all of us to make sure we are safe on the roads over these 100 days, so we all have many more summers to enjoy.

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Times They Are A Changing

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Bob Dylan wrote these words years ago, but they still hold true today.  Sometimes, it almost feels like our lives are in a constant state of change and although that may feel overwhelming at times, change is a good thing.  In the end, change teaches us about ourselves, it shows us we are stronger than we knew, it reveals new talents and helps us to continue to grow.

Here at MADD Nebraska, “Times They Are A Changing.” It is hard to decide where to start to tell you about the big changes that have been happening at our office and in our personal lives.  Normally, people suggest to lead with bad news, but none of our news is bad, just different. So, we will start at the top, with our Executive Director. After 12 years of working to make Nebraska roads safer, Simera Reynolds has moved on to a new position with the Alzheimer’s Association. She is taking her skills and talents to make a difference for a new cause. She does though, still have a passion for MADD and our mission, she has already promised to continue to work with us as a volunteer and a mentor!

We are also sad to say good-bye to two other MADD employees, Rachel Janecek and Cyndee McCarthy. In this world of changes, they also had life changes that took them to new opportunities. We wish them both good luck in their new adventures, they will both be greatly missed.

These changes, have led to more changes in the office. Like the two of us that are still here taking on more responsibilities to ensure that the level of service you all have come to expect from MADD Nebraska does not change. Andrea Frazier and myself (Sara Magnus) are both excited for the opportunities to learn and expand our knowledge to make sure all of the current programs and services continue seamlessly.

We have also moved, less people means we need less office space. So we downsized to a office in the heart of Lincoln’s Haymarket. The location puts us closer to volunteers, to courts, to the legislature and will allow us to do more, more efficiently.

For you loyal followers of this blog, well that is changing too. And that is because now you get to hear from me instead of Sim. I know we will all miss her wit and wisdom. I hope I can do her proud and give you some new and interesting content!

Through all of this we keep on reminding ourselves that change is good.  We have to move forward to grow both personally and professionally. So we go with it. We stop being fearful and we step forward into the unknown. And in the end we find ourselves in a place that is even better than we were before, sometimes looking back and missing the past, but happy knowing that we are who we are today because of the changes in our lives.