9 Ways to Prevent Teen Texting and Driving

As a parent of a teenager, you must be aware of how precious their phone is to them. Teens are always on their phones regardless of what they are doing. Whether it is studying, watching TV, or playing, it is becoming difficult for teens to leave their phones unattended.

 

However, texting turns out to be a huge issue when driving and needs to be addressed immediately. Being distracted when driving not just puts the teen’s life in danger but also that of fellow passengers.

 

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving has led to over 38,824 deaths in the U.S. in 2020. A study on distracted driving conducted on more than 1000 licensed drivers revealed that 86% of drivers text when driving. 

 

So, instead of contributing to these crash statistics on distracted driving, it is best for teens to avoid mobile phones altogether and encourage others to do the same. In this article, we will discuss nine ways to prevent teenagers from texting when driving.

 

1. Enroll Them in a Professional Driving Course

 

Professional driving schools impart interactive driving lessons to the teens. The expert trainers go beyond the basics to teach the teen how to be a great driver. They ensure that the teen follows the best driving practices, such as distraction-free driving, adherence to traffic laws and signs, and safe driving principles.

 

They also train the teens to drive under difficult conditions, such as heavy traffic, tricky turns, highways, and more that you, as a parent, might avoid teaching because of the stress it could potentially cause. 

 

2. Set a Good Example

 

If you want your teen to practice safe driving habits, be conscious of yours first. Teens always observe their parents and copy them. Demonstrate safe driving behavior by restricting cell phone use when driving. 

 

You can either respond to the texts when you have reached the destination or ask your teen seated next to you to respond to them on your behalf. Act responsibly and follow the driving practices you want your teen to follow.

 

3. Be Aware of Their Driving Habits

 

Observe your teen’s driving habits by being a passenger in the car. Pay attention to how they handle situations, such as an urgent phone call or an important text. Encourage teens to attend any texts or calls before starting the car or toward the end of the journey. Correct their mistakes, if any, with simple and clear instructions. 

 

4. Have an Open Discussion on the Ill Effects of Distracted Driving 

 

Inform your teens of the dangers of texting when driving, such as accidents or crashes resulting in injuries, fatalities, and sometimes, deaths. Make them aware of the consequences of distracted driving, like traffic tickets, elevated insurance costs, and more.

 

They should know that texting when driving is illegal and by doing so, they are breaking the law. Show them the staggering statistics about the number of accidents caused due to this distraction. You could also let them watch videos of the aftermath of an accident. 

 

By making them aware of the dangers, you instill a sense of responsibility in them, thereby encouraging them to drive without any distractions.

 

5. Set Consequences for Inappropriate Driving Behavior

 

The teens must understand that driving is a privilege. They must know that it can be taken away by you or by the law if safe driving practices are not followed. 

 

For example, if your teen is caught texting when driving, take away their driving privileges or have them pay for traffic violations.

 

6. Monitor Your Teen’s Driving Using Apps

 

Many mobile apps help you track cell phone activity remotely without any hassles. These apps can also be used to block text messages and calls. Hoverwatch, Cocospy, uMobix, and MSpy are some of the examples of these tracking apps that you can use. 

 

Inform your teens that they are being monitored. In such situations, they will more likely follow the rules. Convince them that you are monitoring driving habits for helping them become a better driver.

 

7. Encourage Them to Install Safety Apps  

 

Installing safe driving apps, such as DriveMode, EverDrive, or TextDrive on your teen’s phone will automatically silence text alerts or phone calls when motion is detected. It can also send automated replies to the people trying to contact your teen. 

 

Alternatively, teens can use the built-in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on their phones. This mode blocks notifications ensuring zero distractions. 

 

8. Avoid Texting Your Teen When They Drive

 

Stop texting or calling your teens if you know they will be driving during a certain time. In the fear that parents might get mad, most teens end up returning the texts or calls and land up in accidents. 

 

Research by Deccan Herald revealed that more than half of teenagers aged between 15 and 18 were talking and texting their parents when driving.

 

9. Train Them to Effectively Manage Emergencies

 

Train your teens to pull over and get to a safe place to attend to urgent calls or texts. Stopping the vehicle at a gas station or a parking area to attend a call is better than looking at the phone when driving and risking lives. 

 

Summing Up

 

Distracted driving among teens has always been a topic of concern for parents. We hope this article will help you convince your teens to practice safe driving. Take effective measures shared here to ensure that your teens understand the dangers of texting when driving and act as responsible citizens. 

 

 

Contributor/Author: Aliza Vigderman is the director of content at AutoInsurance.com, overseeing all content on the site. Previously, she worked as an industry analyst and senior editor at Security.org, a site covering home and digital security. She has also worked as a freelance writer at SquareFoot, Degreed, and The Huffington Post. Her background is in journalism, which she studied at Brandeis University.

 

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