Texting and driving is bad. Drivers end up distracted and can cause fatal accidents. There are plenty of reports in the news about teenagers texting at the wheel and causing collisions. The best thing to do is avoid distracted driving completely. Sit down with your teenagers and explain the dangers of driving while distracted, especially due to texting.
Here are some tips to help you handle teen’s safety while driving in the digital age.
Distractions in the Digital Age
There are many distractions with the digital age. Gone are the days when it was just talking on a phone and hands-free sets were the perfect driving companion. Now there is texting, social media and much more. Sat navs are also a major digital distraction now, and need to be considered. Make sure your teen is aware of adjusting the sat nav while driving.
It’s important to understand all the different distractions in the digital age. Make your teen aware that doing anything with any type of device is going to take their eyes off the road.
Texting is one of the worst issues, because it requires taking two hands off the wheel to reply to a message. No message is so important that you need to reply right there and then. If you do, you need to pull over somewhere and put the car in Park.
Understanding the Dangers of Distracted Driving
Looking down at the phone for two seconds can seem like something small for teenagers. In fact, it can seem like something small for most people. The problem is those two seconds can mean the difference between life and death. You can run a stop sign or red light, or even knock down a child who has run out into the road.
By helping your teen understand the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel, you can reduce the risk of accidents happening. This isn’t just about texting and driving, either. You want to explain the dangers of any type of distraction, including changing the radio station or looking back at friends in the car. There are videos online that can help show just how it can take two seconds of being distracted to cause a fatal accident.
Monitor Your Teen While She Drives
There are apps that will mean you can monitor your teen. This can seem sneaky, but it can really help ensure your teen’s safety.
Some apps will send you an alert whenever your teen starts using his or her phone behind the wheel. You know that your child is distracted, and can have a conversation about it when he or she returns. There are some limitations to this. A passenger may be using the phone instead, but you will still get an alert.
The apps don’t just monitor the phone use, but the driving. You can check speed limits and even set up restrictions to make sure your teen remains a safe driver for them and others around them. There is also the ability to get weather updates for the local area. Most of these apps will have a location setting, so you know where all your family members are at the same time.
Set Ground Rules for Driving
When your teen first starts driving, it is the time to set some ground rules. You want to avoid distracted driving as soon as possible, and these ground rules can help it. One of those is no phone use while behind the wheel. The only time it is acceptable is when the car has been pulled off to the side of the road.
If there are passengers in the car, you can set the rule that only the passengers are allowed to use the phone. This could be in an emergency only, so your teen is not distracted.
Make it clear that apps will be used to monitor driving. This is especially important at the start to build up some trust with your new driver. Make it clear that the app is just for monitoring your teen’s safety and not to spy.
Discussing the dangers of distracted driving and what it means in the digital age are both extremely important. From there, you can set some ground rules and make it clear that you will monitor driving and phone use to begin with.