Driving distractedly is most often associated with the interference of technology. With the advent of smartphones and other smart devices, distracted driving, and the resulting accidents caused by it, is a real problem.
Drivers check messages, voicemails, emails and more, even while traveling at high speeds on the freeway. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that a driver is 3 times more likely to crash their car when they text and drive.
The Federal Communications Commission organized the most recent national statistics concerning texting and driving:
The following tips have been gathered to help you prepare your teen for safe, responsible driving. An informed teen is the first step, but there are others that can encourage teens to resist the temptation to grab the phone when they are behind the wheel.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to warn your child of the dangers of choosing to text and drive–not just the dangers to himself/herself but to others. Even losing your focus for a few seconds can be catastrophic.
While there is no national ban on texting and driving, a number of states have passed laws banning texting and driving:
Several apps exist to assist teens in staying safe on the road. TextLimit, TextArrest, Canary, CellControl and TextLimit are just a few of the more popular. Many of these apps will disable phone use above certain speeds, send notifications if children are texting while driving or notify parents if they are answering a call while driving. (Note to parents, don’t text or call your child when you know they are driving!)
Practice What You Preach
If texting and driving isn’t okay for your teen, it isn’t okay for you either. Be a good role model to your children on proper cell phone use in while driving. What you do speaks volumes to them on what they decide is “ok.” If you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place. Set rules for everyone in the household to prevent distracted driving.
The fact is, 90 percent of those that are caught texting and driving know that it is wrong and dangerous to do, but HABIT keeps them doing it anyway. It’s time to break that habit! Commit your teen–and your while family–to no texting and driving by asking each family member to take the pledge: Don’t Text and Drive (http://www.donttextdrive.com/pledge/)
Deciding now, as a family to abide by this principal of action can make all the difference.