One of the biggest causes of traffic accidents is distracted driving. The fact that people die in one of the approximately 1,000 daily collisions involving a distracted driver every day, around one third of respondents to a poll admitted to driving while distracted.
If you ask the average person what distracted driving means, they’ll most likely name using a cell phone while driving a vehicle. This is a common (and deadly) form of distracted driving, but it’s not limited to surfing the web or sending text messages on a smartphone. Other examples include:
- Being distracted by other passengers in the car
- Changing or selecting music
- Drifting off into thought or daydreaming
- Reading anything while driving
- Eating and drinking
To combat this issue, parents should have ongoing conversations with teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving, sharing the definition, threats, statistics, and legal obligations. It also means being vigilant and setting consequences for irresponsible behavior. This includes:
- Limiting the number of passengers they’re allowed to have
- Monitoring cell phone usage and taking away privileges if the phone is used while driving
- Restricting their driving privileges for any observed unsafe driving
While these may be unpopular consequences with your kid, they’re potentially lifesaving. As teenagers grow into their next phase of life and join the millions of other drivers on the roadways, they can present a real threat because of their inexperience and immaturity. Don’t let your teen become a statistic—talk to them today.