The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 10 percent of these fatalities, the cause is distracted driving. Many teen drivers have grown up with smartphones, and these devices are particularly dangerous on roadways because they fit all three categories of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. Knowing this as a parent, you should do everything in your power to educate your teens.
How to Educate Your Teen About Distracted Driving
- Be a role model. Don’t use your smartphone while driving.
- Talk to your teen about the problem. Encourage your teen to keep their phone somewhere out of reach while driving. Also inform them that distracted driving takes many forms. Eating at the wheel, changing the radio, talking to friends – all of these things can cause accidents.
- Set rules and enforce them. Teens can be rebellious and can think they are invincible. Make it known that this issue is important to you and respond appropriately when your teen displays dangerous driving behaviors.
- Make sure your teen is aware of other drivers, too. Even if your teen is good about keeping the phone out of his or her hands while driving, that doesn’t mean other teen drivers (or adult drivers) are. When your teen rides with friends, for example, make sure your teen is ready to educate his or her friends on the dangers of distracted driving.