According to the NHTSA, about 2,042 people died in an accident involving teens in 2019. If you have a teen driver, this statistic may worry you for a good reason. Teenagers have little experience behind the wheel and have a higher likelihood of caving to distractions on the road.
With about one in three teens texting while driving, you may wonder what you can do to protect your kids.
Your teenagers are still growing. They do not have the maturity, experience or skills to have the same responsibilities as adults, especially driving. They tend to speed text, and when driving with friends, they may become easily distracted.
When people text while driving, they take their eyes off the road for about five seconds. Even at 55 MPH, five seconds is the same as driving for an entire football field with your eyes closed.
To decrease the risk, you need to take matters into your own hands. Make sure you always lead by example. If you have to turn your phone off on the car to ensure you do not look at or answer a text in the vehicle, do it. Show your kids the importance of driving without distractions.
Having a conversation about texting and driving is also essential. Make sure your kids understand how dangerous one text message is. Likewise, explain to them the importance of calling out friends they see texting while driving.
If you find out your teen drives while texting, set consequences. You may limit the hours your teen has access to the car or cell phone.