There can be many dangers and rewards when it comes to driving, but the trick to staying safe is finding a balance and being careful. Among the risks, texting is one of the top issues people can run into behind the wheel.
And when younger adults get settled in the driver’s seat, this risk is an even bigger problem. Preventing your teen from texting and driving is essential to keeping them safe on the road. But with common dependence on mobile phones these days, it can be difficult.
Let’s delve into the dangers of texting and driving and some concrete suggestions on what you can do to prevent your teenage drivers from this particular danger!
1. Create Strict Guidelines
Driving is indeed a privilege, and making sure that your teens understand they can lose this privilege if the rules aren’t followed is a conversation you need to have. This is particularly important when it comes to using phones in the car.
Talking to your teens about how the use of phones while driving caused thousands of deaths in past years might be frightening, but they need to understand just how dangerous using a cell phone is while driving.
After they understand just how risky texting and driving really is, set strict rules that govern teens’ behavior in the car. These rules need to be enforced for their own safety.
2. Define & Educate on Distracted Driving
Some teens might not fully understand what distracted driving entails, though they might be familiar with the saying. All parents should talk to their kids about safe driving habits and how being a distracted driver affects them.
Explain how distracted driving not only involves driving under the influence but texting and driving too. Make sure teens understand that only a few seconds of distraction can cause fatal crashes.
Once teens understand how using a cell phone can put the entire roadway at risk, they will be more likely to prevent distracted driving.
3. Don’t Text or Call When Teenagers Are Driving
An easy way for a parent to help young adult drivers avoid texting and driving is not to try and contact them when you know they’re on the road. If your teen takes a few seconds to respond to your calls, it causes the distraction you were trying to prevent.
Instead of calling or texting during their drive, wait until you know they have arrived at their destination and can safely respond to you. Most teens might feel bad about not answering their parent’s calls, so avoid doing it in the first place.
4. Make Teens Drive Stick Shift
When young adults start driving, an excellent way to prevent a teen from texting right from the beginning is by having them learn to drive a manual car. By focusing on using the stick shift, no hands are left free for using a cell phone, plus it’s a good skill to know.
5. Help Teens Prepare for a Drive
Be proactive and help young adults prepare for their trip beforehand. This will help enforce safe driving habits like not eating snacks or reaching for sunglasses while behind the wheel. This also allows you to supervise the safe placement of phones.
Before you hand over the car keys, ensure all pre-driving tasks are completed, including seat adjustments, checking the GPS route, and putting cell phones out of easy reaching distance.
6. Install Text-Blocking Cell Phone Apps
Thanks to technology, there are several life-saving apps that you can download on your teenager’s phone that prevent them from being able to text and drive. They work by disabling text abilities when the vehicle moves or passes a GPS perimeter.
Try one of the following apps to prevent texting while driving and avoid a car accident:
7. Keep the Phone Out of Sight
Out of sight, out of mind—it’s a surprisingly effective method of preventing a driver of any age from texting.
Instead of letting the phone rest on the seat and provide temptation, pop it into the glove compartment, the armrest compartment, or even put it in the backseat where any screen notifications cannot be seen.
8. Turn off the Volume on Mobile Devices
Similar to avoiding the temptation by not having the phone where you can see it, switch off the sound or turn it to vibrate only when driving. This will allow your teen driver to only know about notifications when they safely park.
9. Know the Laws & Teach Teenage Drivers
Always keep up-to-date with the latest texting and driving laws and their outcomes so that you can inform young people.
Every state tends to have a slightly different law regarding texting and driving, so it’s important to research your particular location and what regulations are in place.
10. Use Mobile Service Providers’ Parental Controls
Several of the biggest mobile service providers offer parental controls over a teen’s phone, particularly when driving. You can set up provisions that allow or block calls and texts during specific times, such as when they are commuting to school.
11. Post the Rules in the Car
A good way to keep all the safety habits you’ve talked about in their minds is to have the driving guidelines posted inside the car. It doesn’t have to be elaborate—just a list of the key pointers to remember, just in case they need to reference it.
12. Enroll Teens in a Professional Driving Course
Taking a professional driving course is an excellent idea for all ages, particularly if you’re just starting out. This can be really empowering and helpful for teenagers, preventing them from forming bad driving habits right from the outset of learning to drive.
13. Put Consequences in Place
Actions have consequences, and being in a car should be no different. Make sure your teenage driver knows that any texting while driving will come with consequences. This will hopefully stop teens from being tempted to check their cells.
14. Set an Example of Good Driving Habits
Never use your phone behind the wheel, especially if your children are in the car. By displaying a good example for your children from a young age, you can prevent learned bad habits from becoming problematic later in life.
15. Encourage Young Drivers to Educate Others
If your child understands the dangers of texting while driving enough to explain them to friends and warn a fellow teenage driver, there’s a good chance they won’t engage in the activity themselves.
Encourage your teen drivers to share what they know about the dangers of texting behind the wheel and tips on avoiding it with friends.
16. Install a Smartphone Reward App
Download an app to your teen’s mobile device that rewards them for not texting while driving. These are great ways to challenge your child to follow safe driving and simultaneously get immediate gratification from it!
The following are some great reward apps that help your teen stop texting in the vehicle:
17. Talk to Other Parents
It’s a good idea to chat with the parents of your kid’s friends and figure out some common ideas for preventing texting and driving. By talking to another parent, you might discover some new plans to promote safer driving habits!
Car Insurance: Protect Your Vehicle & Kids Further
Putting measures in place that help keep your teens from texting and driving is crucial for parents, as is having a conversation about the dangers of distracted driving.
However, when it comes to the rest of driver safety, another important consideration is auto insurance. Give yourself peace of mind by contacting an insurance agent today.