Driving is a rite of passage and source of independence and freedom for teens. It is also a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. If you have a teenage driver, you may understandably have concerns about his or her safety behind the wheel. Distractions are a big problem on the roadways, especially for juvenile motorists.
Newly licensed teens lack experience, and out of all motorist groups, are more likely to end up in motor vehicle collisions, especially when they drive with distractions. Consider the following pointers when discussing the dangers of distracted driving with your teen.
Why distractions are so deadly for teens
Distractions interfere with the mental and physical processes necessary for safe and responsible driving. Teens need even more focus than adult drivers because they do not have the experience to handle the various hazards they might encounter when driving. They also may not realize how important it is for them to make good judgments and respond quickly.
How you can promote safe teen driving behaviors
As a parent, there are measures you can take to reduce your adolescent’s risk of collision. One of the biggest is to show them by example. Avoid texting and using your cellphone when you drive. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, follow all traffic laws and stay calm. Do not drive when you are tired or impaired.
Talk to your teen about the dangers that distractions cause. Set rules and discourage allowing other teenagers to ride with your teen driver. Accompany your teen occasionally to observe driving behaviors and ensure he or she is not reckless or careless.
Car accidents that occur because of distractions are preventable. Teach your teen to respect driving privileges and take them seriously to lower the risk of injury and death in motor vehicle collisions.