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Teens and Distracted Driving: What You Should Do as a Parent

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Teenager distracted driving cell phone
Photo: Bruce Mars

A significant number of highway fatalities are the result of distracted driving, which continues to be a problem for many motorists, especially for those who are just old enough to drive.

We all know what our kids want, and that is to have their own set of wheels. Nothing will pump a teenager full of adrenaline quite like a newly-refurbished convertible. You just hope that nothing bad is going to happen to the car, much less the driver handling it. Since young people are regarded as the most techno-savvy of demographic groups, their teen using a cell phone while driving is a real concern for most parents.

Then again, being adept with electronics doesn’t exactly improve your chances of surviving the merciless highway. If you have a teen who gets easily distracted, you might want to apply these approaches before even considering buying a new ride for your new driver.

1. Give an orientation about driving basics

Driving is not a skill you can instantly learn from a two-hour online lecture. It’s something that requires sage advice. As a parent, you know for sure that you will have to sit down with your teen and talk about how to not get listed as a casualty. Apart from that, you might also talk about the importance of keeping their eyes on the road. These simple informal lectures can help your teen understand how much is at stake when they allow themselves to be distracted behind the wheel.

2. Get rid of dashboard “impurities”

Who doesn’t like dashboard decorations? Although they look cute, they can actually inhibit your teen’s view of the road. So long as your teen is a new driver, you might as well prohibit having too many decorations on the dashboard. One or two bobbleheads will do.

3. Stay off the phone

If you’re cruising down Texas highways, one way to not get sued by Austin personal injury lawyers for reckless driving is to limit your cell phone usage. A majority of accidents due to distracted driving often involved cell phones. And given that many teens have the habit of checking their phones every chance they get, it actually makes for a significant risk factor. So as much as possible you might want to set stern rules about using cell phones while driving.

4. Keep noise levels down

Noise can also be a critical factor in distracted driving. You don’t only have to see the road with your eyes, you also need your ears to listen to the surroundings. You will never know if a 10-ton truck is behind you if you’re listening to Metallica at full blast. It could happen to your teen, so you might also need to warn against putting the car radio to full volume or wearing earphones that drown out any noise from the outside.

If anything, getting a car goes hand in hand with having the right amount of discipline to drive it. With distracted driving becoming a fatal fact for many motorists on the road, it’s important as a parent to help our kids become responsible drivers.

This is a collaborative article.