Reducing Distracted Driving Among Teens
For years, parents have worried about the safety of their teenage children learning to operate an automobile for the first time. Safety-threatening distractions have often included animated conversations with passengers, loud music, and the somewhat unreliable adolescent attention span.
These same distractions still exist today, along with new ones created by advanced technologies, none of which is more prevalent than the cell phone. Parents can employ several strategies for helping their teens manage cell phone use to reduce the risk of car accidents due to distracted driving.
Set Family Rules on Cell Phone Usage
Ubiquitous use of cell phones, especially among teenagers, can be difficult to control. To strike a balance on cell phone use, some parents set rules such as banning phones from the dinner table or curbing their use after dark. Even if a family chooses not to set rules on cell phone usage at home, parents must draw the line when it comes to using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.
Young drivers should be instructed to wait to check a text or make a call until they arrived at their destination. They should be taught that if cell phone use is absolutely necessary, they should pull over and refrain from trying to multitask while driving a car. There should be no excuses and no exceptions.
Use Tech Safety Features
Cell phone manufacturers and app makers have made many safety features available to help drivers of all ages resist the lure of their phones. Phones can be set to driving mode that sends an auto reply to respond to incoming text messages. These auto-reply texts explain that the person they are trying to reach is driving and that the driver will respond when it is safe to do so. This convenient tool alleviates the urge to immediately react to incoming calls and texts, an impulse that increases the risk of an accident that could easily cause serious personal injury.
Create Safe Habits from the Start
Teenagers, as well as young children, look to their parents for behavior cues. Even rebellious teens emulate much of what they are wordlessly taught by their parents. Years before your child gets behind the wheel, they have witnessed your driving behaviors and may have normalized many of your habits. For your teen’s safety as well as your own, you should always live by the driving safety rules you hope to instill in your children. Modeling the behaviors you want to see in them is the best way to ensure that everyone stays focused on safety while driving.
Bucks County Car Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Victims Injured in Car Accidents by Teen Drivers
Parents of teen drivers invariably experience apprehension and fear regarding their teens’ safety on the road. While driving lessons and hours of supervised practice can help prepare teen drivers, there are many other dangers that could still lead to an accident. If your child is involved in a car crash, call the Bucks County car accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. to set up a free consultation. Call us at 888-999-1962 or contact us online. With offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we provide legal counsel to clients throughout Pennsylvania.