Tips for talking to your teen about distracted driving

Posted on May 18, 2020

For teenagers, being able to drive on their own is a new freedom. Teens may take this freedom for granted and forget that the vehicle they operate is still a dangerous machine in the wrong hands. Talking to your teen about distracted driving can help remind them what their priorities need to be can be lifesaving.

Teenagers account for only 6.5% of the United States’ population, yet they are involved in 8% of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries each year. Teens may not recognize what constitutes distracted driving, so here are some tips on avoiding making a fatal mistake.

Hands off the phone

There is rarely a reason that calls for a driver to pick up and look at their phone while driving. Most phones also have a hands-free option to help reduce this mistake from happening. Have your teen only use a phone through hands-free mode if necessary, and even understand that a text can wait until the ride is over.

No multitasking

In addition to not touching the phone, keeping hands on the wheel is essential. Side tasks like eating, fixing makeup, or reaching for something in the back of passenger seats can pull a driver’s attention away from the road long enough to cause an accident. If something is pressing enough to need immediate attention, pull over to address it.

Follow the law

While some disagree with various road laws, they are in place for everyone’s safety. Reckless driving habits like speeding, not using a turn signal, or driving on the shoulder can quickly turn into an expensive ticket or a fatal accident. Staying punctual eliminates the need for speeding. Stay on time, and stay safe.

Avoid peer pressure

Friends may try to convince your teen to make bad choices when it comes to driving. Decisions like piling too many people into a car, speeding, or even behaving wildly while driving can all be deadly. Make sure your teen understands what they need to do to protect themselves and their passengers in a car.