Teaching a child to drive is never simple. Teaching a teen driver to not be a distracted driver is harder. Teens are very active, social and constantly networking with friends and family. So, how do you teach a teen driver to avoid distractions that could be fatal?
Set the Example
Perhaps the most important step is to ensure your teen sees you making the right decisions. This means being a safe driver yourself. The most common forms of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Texting on the phone
- Being engaged in a heated conversation while driving
- Fidgeting with dials, like the air conditioning and radio
- Not paying attention to the wheel
- Rushing around or running late, which creates tension and stress
As a parent or a teacher, it is essential to show your teen driver how important it is to you that they remain safe. Show you value focused driving, too. If it is important to you, it will be important to your teen driver.
Have a Conversation
It is not enough to assume a teen has the knowledge necessary to make the right decision. Having a conversation about distracted driving is essential. It is important to speak formally, but not to scare your teen driver in the process. Be open about the risks involved. Explain how distracted driving happens and how it occurs to just about anyone. For example, talk about how it take only a moment to cause an accident by looking at a text message.
It can sometimes help to provide a clear discuss about the risks from a statistics point of view. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,450 people lost their lives in 2016 as a result of distracted driving. Another 391,000 people suffered injuries as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2015. This should reinforce to your teen that yes, risks do exist.
Explain Their Options
What can teens do to remain safe?
- Keep their cell phone away from them while driving. Put it in the backseat.
- Keep the number of teens (or other people) in the car to a minimum.
- Avoid turning the radio stations, eating, or putting on makeup while driving.
Auto insurance can help an individual avoid the financial costs resulting from an accident caused by distracted driving, in most cases. However, having car insurance is not enough. The only way to protect a teen driver’s life is to educate the teen before they get behind the wheel of the car in the first place.