Six Tips For Teaching Your Teen The Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Teen drivers are considered high-risk operators because they lack experience behind the wheel. While there are several reasons why teens are most at risk on public roads, one major reason why drivers between 16 and 19 have the most crashes is because they are easily distracted. With all of the newest smartphone features and tablets that are hitting the market, driver distraction is becoming a serious problem. Unfortunately, when a teen does not realize the dangers of distracted driving, they are not likely to make an effort to avoid distractions. If you are looking for ideas on how to teach your soon-to-be drivers about the ever present dangers, here are six tips.

Show Your Teen the Statistics and Make Them Easy to Relate To

Distracted drivers put everyone on the road at risk. For some teens, the statistics will really speak to them, but you cannot just expect to tell them that 3000 people die per year because of distractions. In order for the information to do its job, you need to focus on providing the data for drivers in their demographic. If you were to explain that 16 percent of teens in fatal crashes were distracted, that could hit home. You could narrow the information down even more and explain that more than 1 out of every 4 accidents is caused by cell phone usage, and out of these accidents, 10 percent are fatal.

Model Good Behavior

No matter how experienced you are as a driver, diverting your attention to a phone, a makeup compact, or a television screen can be dangerous. While the rate of accidents are higher for teens, distracted driving is a leading cause in serious accidents in all age groups. If you want your teen to be safe and to exhibit responsible behavior when you are not around, you need to set the example. By fighting the urge to text or shuffle through music, you can demonstrate the model behavior that they will know to mimic.

Set the Ground Rules With Your Teen Early

You should never wait until your teen has made a mistake to set the ground rules. Setting the rules that must be followed while operating a vehicle should be done before you hand over the keys. You should discuss the dangers of distractions, teach your child how to avoid the distractions, and have them sign an agreement so that there are consequences if they are caught violating their contract.

Have Your Teen Speak With Someone Who Can “Scare Them Straight”

There are a number of Public Service Announcements that teach teens the dangers of driving while distracted. You might not pay attention to these when you think that a devastating accident cannot happen to you. When you sit down and speak with someone who has lost their loved one due to distracted driving, it starts to feel more real. That emotional presentation or conversation could make all of the difference if your child is making mistakes.

Work on a Public Service Announcement Together

Parents and teens do not get to spend enough time together doing things that can make a difference. After you have discussed the distractions, stressed the dangers and spoke with someone who has experienced loss, the last thing that you can do to ensure that the message has been intercepted is create a Public Service Announcement (PSA). Choose the artwork, come up with a message that will be heard by a target audience, and then consider presenting this to a community organization.

Teach Your Teen What to Do Following an Accident

You can take preventative measures to help reduce the chances that your teen will have an accident, but there is always a chance it could happen. It may even be that the other driver was distracted and your teen was just not able to avoid the collision. Parents should prep their teens so that they know their legal rights and what to do following an accident to exercise these rights. Have them take pictures, seek immediate treatment and document their costs. You should also talk to a lawyer so that you can discuss your right to recovery. After you speak with a lawyer, you will know which bills you can recoup and what steps you must take to shorten the process. Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.

No one wants to receive a phone call where the person on the other line tells you that their child has been in an accident. There are risks associated with driving, but you can play a role in making your teen a responsible driver from the start. Consider these tips, and prepare your teen for a life of focused driving.

Informational credit to Ladah Law Firm, PLLC.

Carsurfer Admin

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