How to Prevent Distracted Driving Among Teens
To prevent distracted driving among teens, start their education while they’re young. Parents can model good driving behavior before the child ever gets behind the wheel of a car. For example, parents can turn off their phone and ensure everyone is wearing their seatbelts — before even starting the car.
It’s vital that parents make an effort. Car accident lawyers see the results of distracted driving by teens every day: accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
If you or a family member has been hurt in a car accident, contact us at Riddle & Brantley by calling 1-800-525-7111. Our firm was founded on the principle that Justice Counts for all, no matter what. Our attorneys and staff fight tirelessly for maximum compensation for injured North Carolinians.
How to Model Good Driving Habits for Your Teen
The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education recommends impressing upon your teen the concept of “eyes on the road” and modeling this practice. Be clear and intentional regarding your phone when you get in your vehicle.
Your teen should see that you do the following:
- Turn off your phone in the car
- Place your phone in the glove compartment
- Don’t talk or text while driving
- If you must use your phone for GPS, refrain from taking calls or responding to texts.
Modeling safe driving behaviors is an effective strategy to normalize smart choices when behind the wheel. It surpasses discussing, lecturing, or admonishing. In addition, The Center for the Study of Young Drivers believes that general efforts at “awareness raising” tend to be ineffective with teenagers.
For example, researchers found that scare tactics or safety pledges are not effective at reducing the risk of distracted driving among teens. Instead, they believe that change will come from community-level programs that enhance parental involvement, as well as closed campus lunch policies and changing school start times to later in the morning.
Use a Blocking App
There are apps that can be downloaded onto your teen’s phone to block texts or calls while driving. Examples include the following:
- Cell Control: an Apple-approved app that disables the driver’s ability to use applications, including texting, while driving.
- DriveSafe Mode: a free app that provides parental control from afar. Parents can limit their teens to emergency numbers only while driving.
- Life Saver: an app that comes in a free, family version. Parents can monitor its use and be notified when a teen disables it. It also features a reward system to encourage teens to use it.
Delay Your Teen’s Solo Driving
Natalie O’Brien, a research associate at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, recommends that parents provide as much practice for teen drivers as possible. Parents should be in the car with them as much as possible when they first get their license. O’Brien worked on North Carolina’s graduated driver licensing rules, which allow teens to gain driving privileges step by step because driving takes much practice.
Further, impulsiveness is typical in teens, and it doesn’t suddenly end when they get their driver’s license. Therefore, parents need to practice with their teens so they can gradually learn what to do in a variety of situations while behind the wheel.
Remind Teens to Wear Seat Belts
Teen distracted driving often involves not wearing seat belts. The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia Research Institute reports that in fatalities among young drivers (ages 15-20) in 2020 that resulted from automobile crashes, more than half (52%) of the passengers were not using a seat belt. This statistic is another stark reminder of teenage impulsivity and distractibility. In addition, it confirms the wisdom of researchers who encourage practicing driving with your teen and continually reinforcing good driving behavior.
Justice Counts at Riddle & Brantley
At Riddle & Brantley, we put our heart and soul into representing each client to the maximum extent the law allows. Call us today at 1-800-525-7111 to schedule a FREE no-obligation consultation if you or your loved one has been hurt because of someone else’s negligence. We don’t charge you attorney fees unless you receive compensation in your legal case through settlement or trial.