Teaching Your Teen About Distracted Driving

Teaching Your Teen About Distracted Driving

Every year thousands of distracted driving accidents occur and while some of them result in a “close call,” others have life-changing consequences. From lawmakers to parents of teen drivers, there is a lot of concern and frustration surrounding distracted driving accidents.


Like many types of accidents, distracted driving accidents are preventable but they continue to be one of the most common types of roadway incidents. As a parent, you have a responsibility to teach your child about some of the potential dangers when driving long before they get behind the wheel by themselves.


Talking about the dangers of distracted driving may be overwhelming and leave you to wonder where to start, what works, and what doesn’t. Here are some tips to consider.

When To Start Talking About Distracted Driving


Should you wait until you’re handing over the keys for the first time as you newly licensed teen heads out on the road alone? Probably not. If you’re like most parents, you probably started talking to your kids about issues like drunk driving and the importance of wearing a seatbelt well before they reached driving age.


Why is it important to get an early start on these difficult to discuss topics? The more you talk about it, the more your child will know that there are dangers associated with driving.


Figure out an age-appropriate way to talk about the dangers of distracted driving such as, “When you drive you always need to have two hands on the wheel, ” and as your child gets older you can venture out a little more with the cold and hard facts as well as your expectations.

Do More Than Talk


It’s not uncommon for children, especially during their preteen and adolescent years, to see their parent’s advice and expectations as “optional.” You could talk to your teen driver about the dangers of distracted driving every day for months. Would it make a difference? It depends on the teen, but many teens may be tempted to text and drive despite the risks.


While you shouldn’t forgo having an invaluable conversation about the dangers of driving distracted, parents need to follow the rules they set. If your child or teen sees you texting and driving or even applying makeup during rush hour, you don’t make distracted driving seem like a serious issue.

Break Up The Monotony and Have Some Fun


Sometimes you can get a very important point across by having fun and engaging in some friendly competition. “Cards of Distractibility” is a free online game that anyone can play to test out distracted they really are when they drive. The game acts as a driving simulation, and the “driver” receives and responds to texts while driving down the road.


As the game progresses, road signs change and flash on the side of the road, and at the end of the game session, the driver is tested on which signs he or she saw while driving. Not only does this game offer some good insight but can be a lighthearted way to tackle a tough issue.

Don’t Expect Others To Teach Your Child About The Dangers of Distracted Driving


Some parents shy away from discussing difficult topics because they don’t know how to bring it up or be impactful. While it’s understandable that you’re unsure whether or not your voice will be heard by your teen, it’s important to say what you need to say.


Drivers education courses and many schools will do their best to educate kids about the dangers of distracted driving, but you don’t make them the only information source. Take some initiative and be the voice your child hears and the excellent role model he or she sees every day.


Categories: Teen

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