According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, half of all high school senior nationally admit to texting while driving. Texting, and other forms of distracted driving, including eating, talking on a cell phone and even singing along with a favorite song on the radio, are among the leading causes of serious auto accidents.
The CDC offers a few tips on helping convince teens that distracted driving is a bad practice and can result in a car accident.
- Set the example. Make a point of turning off your phone when you get behind the wheel and make sure your children notice. Make a habit of avoiding the drive-thru on family trips and eating while you drive. When shuttling teens, make sure you know where you're going before you get in the car, or turn on voice navigation before you start your trip.
- Set the rules. Don't be afraid to tell young drivers that their driving privileges are dependent on exhibiting safe driving practices. Tell them you expect their phone to be off and stowed away when driving, and that they should expect the same when they are riding with others. Feel free to monitor compliance with your rules.
- Set a curfew. The most dangerous time for teen drivers is after dark. That's also the time when friends are most likely to be texting and phoning. Having teen drivers home at a reasonable hour will do more to prevent accidents than just about anything else.