Texting on cell phones while driving now rivals drunk driving as the number one cause of accidents among teenagers. Accidents caused by distracted drivers account for 80% of all traffic accidents and thousands of deaths annually. Although plenty of adults are guilty of texting while driving, Teens are more likely to be involved in traffic incidents caused by texting. This is why is it important to set a good example for your teen as well as speaking to them about the dangers of texting and driving.
Before you talk to your teenager make sure you are indeed setting a good example of responsible ways to drive. Some ideas include buying a phone mount for your car or typing in directions to your destination before you leave the driveway. These small changes create a bigger impact on your teen than you may realize. The next step to preventing your teen from being involved in a texting related car accident is to speak to them about the potential danger.
Pick a relaxed time to share your concerns regarding the high number of young people who text while driving and the dangers that may or may not cause harm to themselves, their passengers, or pedestrians. Avoid approaching this conversation with a dictator type of attitude. Show them you are only thinking of their safety and explain how the outcome of a serious crash can be life threatening.
Start a brainstorm session allowing you and your teen to think of ways to drive safely. Some ideas include turning off the phone when entering the car, putting the phone in the glove compartment or on the back seat, or to hand over the phone to the passenger to answer if someone calls or sends a message. Bluetooth is a great way to speak to people using your phone without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. I picked up a great bluetooth headset in a shop that does cell phone repair in Montreal.
Your life and your teens life are at stake while texting and driving. The guilt of taking away their phone or their driving privileges is much smaller than the guilt of knowing you could have prevented something horrible. If you or your teen are really struggling to put your phone down while driving, consider downloading a free mobile app that blocks incoming calls or texts once activated. Some apps will even generate an auto-reply to let your friends know you are driving and will reply once you arrive to your destination. Apps, such as Speed Limit, will block texts or calls when you are moving at speeds only attainable while driving. This is possible because Speed Limit accesses the GPS that is built into many smart phones.
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