How should you talk to your teen about distracted driving?

Getting a driver’s license is a major step in the life of your teenager. However, he or she must understand how important it is to stay focused while behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, today’s mobile devices and car entertainment systems provide the opportunity for distracted driving, which can lead to motor vehicle accidents, injury and even death. What is the best way to talk to your teenager about distracted driving?

Inform With Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released statistics showing just how dangerous this behavior is for teens, stating that in 2017, 227 teens died from distracted driving. In fact, this problem caused 9% of all teen deaths in automobile crashes that year.

You should use these statistics not to scare your child, but to convey the importance of how real this issue is and why he or she must avoid it at all costs. Keep an open dialogue with your teen in general, and specifically discuss various forms of distracted driving, including:

  • Texting or emailing
  • Looking at social media
  • Fiddling with music selection
  • Programming GPS directions
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming

Set an Exemplary Example

Start preparing your child for good road behavior well before it is time to take the permit test. While you are behind the wheel, follow all the rules of road, especially when it comes to speeding. Point out to your teen all of the things that you are doing correctly.

Refrain from using your own mobile device. Set GPS directions before you take off on a trip. If you absolutely must check or read a text, set the example of how to pull over into a safe place and park before picking up your cellphone.