Texting is quick, efficient and is widely used in business. According According to Statistic Brain, 781 billion text messages are sent every month in the United States as of June 2017. That’s more than 26 billion texts a day, and more than 9.3 trillion texts a year coming out of the U.S. With this nonverbal style of communication becoming the modern way to converse, what are parents to do with their teens texting and driving?
Parenting is not easy regardless of how much you trust your teen. There’s a lot to cover, from morals and values to financial responsibility and more. Educating your teen about the dangers of texting while driving requires even more patience. It’s important to revisit the topic frequently, helping you ensure your teen doesn’t become a statistic.
When it comes to distracted driving, 1 out of every 4 car crashes in the U.S. is caused by texting while driving according to the National Safety Council. And according to According to a AAA poll, 94% t of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
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So how are you going to ensure your teen puts his or her phone down while driving? Unfortunately, you won’t be there to supervise his or her driving 24/7, but you could take some simple actions that could make a difference.
(Keep in mind that teenagers views their cell phones as an extension of them. )
#1 Good parents must lead by example
You may not give it too much importance but your teen is watching you all the time, even when you are driving to work or the nearest grocery store. Teenagers absorb habits from their parents even when they appear to be uninterested. You can make a difference by just putting your phone down and pointing out, from time to time, that you’re not texting while driving.
Although it may not seem as much, leading by example will help you drive the point home: texting and driving is dangerous and as a family you’re refraining from the distracted driving behavior. By leading, you’re making it easier for your teen to follow.
#2 Communication is key to address driving safety issues
Part of being a parent to a teen driver is to constantly communicate them about the dangers behind the wheel. You’ll help to establish great driving behaviors for the future, and ensure your teen becomes a responsible adult driver.
Take the time to chat with your teen as they enter a new milestone in their life, and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Address topics such as risk factors of texting and driving, consequences of speeding, talk to them about the dangers of alcohol or fatigue behind the wheel and the like. Share reliable information such as testimonials and statistics to gain trust even when they seem skeptical.
#3 Use technology to help your teen put his/her phone down
Today, you can find several apps that could discourage your teen from picking up the phone while on the road. These apps generally limit the functionality of a phone when you drives at a speed of 25 mph and beyond.
If your teen doesn’t own a smartphone, you could just encourage them to turn off their phone while driving for their own safety.
For more information, “4 Apps To Stop Texting And Driving While On The Road” outlines great apps that could help you discourage your teen from texting while driving.