I recently read reports in the Oklahoman and Tulsa World about Asthma and Allergy Foundation’s 2012 Fall Allergy Capitals rankings. Every fall and spring, AAFA ranks the cities with the toughest allergy seasons. As a lifelong allergy sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that Oklahoma City and Tulsa ranked high on the list this fall. According to AAFA, Oklahoma City is the seventh toughest American city to live in with fall allergy symptoms, while Tulsa is number 19.
These rankings underscore how important it is for Oklahoma allergy sufferers to have access to the allergy medicines they depend on for relief from symptoms. I take Claritin regularly—especially during allergy season—because it allows me to take one pill that lasts the entire day.
Thankfully, the Oklahoma House and Senate came together around a balanced solution to the meth problem that focuses on improving our state’s effective electronic tracking system. Going forward, I hope that Oklahoma leaders will give the new law and the improved technology time to work so that allergy suffers like me can continue to buy the products we need.
Parents are the key to teen driver safety. It just makes sense – the more involved parents are in their teens’ driving life, the safer teens will be on the road.
In recognition of Teen Driver Safety Week, AAA urges parents to:
• Be role models. Our children pick up more from how we act than we think.
Kids typically mimic the driving behaviors of their parents.
• Set rules. Oklahoma has a pretty good teen Graduated Driver Licensing
(GDL) law. It sets limits on where novice drivers can drive, at what hours and with how many passengers. But conscientious parents will take these rules one step further by imposing guidelines on things like cell phone use while driving, texting, use of seat belts, highway driving and alcohol.
• Stay involved. Communication between teen and parent is vital. Ask your kids where they’re going, who they’ll be with, what roads they’ll be on and when they’ll be back. Then when they return, talk about their driving experiences – how was it? Any problems? Did you encounter any unusual driving scenarios? You know what to ask and you know you are the answer.
With high school driver’s ed. now almost a thing of the past, who is teaching your teen how to drive? Are they gathering these life skills from TV car commercials? Video games? Their friends?
There’s a reason teen drivers pay the most of any age group for car insurance – they have the most wrecks. Car crashes are still the leading cause of death for teens.
Parents can step up and do more to reduce their teen’s risk on the road. A good free resource is TeenDriving.AAA.com. It has a downloadable parent-teen driving agreement, sample driving test questions, specifics on Oklahoma’s GDL law and useful advice for teens and parents.
VP, Public Affairs