Distracted driving is constantly an issue for teen drivers. In fact, one study shows that almost 60% of all teen driving related accidents revolve around distracted driving. In fact, over the past five years, 5,000 people have been killed due to distracted teen drivers, and that was just during the summer months.
This is a huge percentage of crashes considering they are easily avoidable. As parents, it is important to understand the impact of distracted driving so that plans can be put in place to help avoid dangerous situations. Here are some things you should know.
Reasons for Distracted Driving
Naturally, there are countless ways teens can fall victim to distracted driving. For starters, other passengers in the vehicle can be a huge distraction. Talking to other passengers while they are driving is actually the leading cause of accidents among teen drivers.
Another huge issue for today's teens is texting or talking on their cellphone. Behind being distracted by their passengers, this is the second leading cause of accidents. Finally, teens also become distracted when they try to do things in the car other than drive. For example, some teens are involved in an accident after trying to adjust the radio or retrieve something from the back seat.
What Can Parents Do?
To help your teen understand the dangers of driving while distracted, there are several things you can do as a parent. Start by discussing with them the consequences of being distracted while driving. Provide them with information about teen accidents caused by distracted drivers.
You can also enroll your students in driver safety courses that focus on the best ways to avoid distracted driving. Receiving training in this area could help them discover ways to put distractions away while they are driving.
Also, setting rules regarding how many passengers are allowed in the vehicle your teen is driving are important. Limiting who is in the car as well as how many people can travel with your teen can help cut down on distractions. Whenever possible, travel with your teen to help keep distractions to a minimum. You should also have a rule in place that your teen must have all portable devices put away while they are driving.
What Can Teens Do?
For teens who are looking to avoid driving while they are distracted, the most important thing to do is to make a conscious effort to avoid these types of situations. Inform your passengers that you will avoid distracting conversations while you are driving and refuse to look at texts during this time. If something must be taken care of immediately, pull to the side of the road before attending to it.
Teens can also join organizations like SADD to spread the word about distracted driving and to learn more about other destructive behaviors they can avoid. Understanding how these behaviors will affect your future and your health is a great way to be discouraged from participating in them.
Finally, distracted driving prevention doesn’t stop when you are no longer the driver. Instead, focus on fighting it when you are a passenger as well. For example, avoid distracting the driver when you are a passenger and request they pay attention to the road when they do become distracted. Also, avoid riding with drivers that tend to pull their phones out when they are driving.
When driving, there are many things that can distract you, and it is easy to allow that to happen. Unfortunately, it takes very little time for that distraction to cause you to become injured in an accident. Staying safe behind the wheel is one of the most important things a new teen driver can attempt to do.
This means avoiding as many distractions as possible and focusing all their attention on the road in front of them. Remember, you can have a discussion with your passenger, make a call or send a text whenever you get where you are going. Following this advice could help keep you safe from distracted driving.
To learn even more about teen driving safety, contact us today.