How can I prevent my teen from driving distracted?
Is your teen texting and driving? Are they eating or applying make-up?
Obtaining a driver’s license as a young adult can be a rite of passage for your child. For parents, it can also often be a stressful time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,000 accidents and nine deaths per day are caused by a distracted driver.
As parents, we have the duty to educate our teens about the dangers of distracted driving in an effort to combat unnecessary injuries and deaths.
Here are a few extra safety steps you can take to ensure your teen is keeping their eyes on the road, and away from distractions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Young drivers can never have too much practice behind the wheel. As a parent, it’s crucial you spend ample time with them while they’re learning the rules of the road. In addition, having them take behind-the-wheel courses with a professional can ensure that they are getting the extra attention and guidance they need.
Remove Potential Distractions
According to Chicago car accident attorney, Steven Seidman, “a distraction can be much more than just a cellphone. Common driver distractions include everything from eating food, adjusting the music, applying makeup, or trying to figure out the GPS directions to your destination.”
Have your teen turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode on their phones. This feature allows your phone to detect when you’re in a moving car and mutes all incoming calls, texts, and other notifications to combat distractions.
A study conducted by EverQuote found that 70% of EverDrive iPhone users kept their “Do Not Disturb” feature enabled; one in four (27%) iPhone users disabled the feature. Of those users enabling the feature, phone use while driving decreased by 8%.
In addition, their findings concluded that for drivers who use the “Do Not Disturb” feature, 75% believe it has made them safer drivers. Only 15% don’t believe it made them safer drivers while 10% were unsure.
Maintain Distance and Follow The Speed Limit
Rear-end collisions make up a majority of car accidents. Emphasize to your teen the importance of increasing the distance between you and the car ahead of you. This safety precaution can allow the driver time to recognize a safety hazard and respond accordingly.
According to the NHTSA, you should follow the “three-second rule.” Maintaining approximately three seconds’ worth of space between you and the car in front of you will help ensure that you are maintaining a safe distance in the event of the unexpected.
Keep Calm and Teach On
Driving requires mastering many skills such as accelerating smoothly, parallel parking, making sharp turns, backing up, braking, and more. These are skills your teen will not pick up overnight, but instilling confidence in their abilities and letting them know you trust them can be a crucial component of how they continue to progress. The last thing you want is for your child to be fearful of operating a motor vehicle.
Raising confident drivers means we need to be confident drivers ourselves and set a good example. Practice what you preach!
Read more tips on how to talk to your teen about driving responsibilities and keeping them safe on the roads.
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Contact us if you have exhausted your local resources with your troubled teen. We help you make smart decisions for teen help programs, therapeutic boarding schools and other options for struggling teens.