Distracted Driving: How to Stop your Teen from Texting and DrivingBy Pauline Hammerbeck August 03, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Family, Personal Safety
drinking and driving tops the worry list for the parents of many soon-to-be
college freshmen. But did you know that distracted driving is even more
prevalent and potentially dangerous?
In a recent distracted driving survey by UC San Diego, researchers found that 78 percent
of college students admitted to driving and using a cell phone (talking or
texting), and 50 percent reported that they send texts while driving on the
teens clearly tend to overestimate their ability to safely multitask, consider
that motor-vehicle crashes are the no. 1 cause of death for teenagers. And that
looking away from the road to send a single text (while driving at 55 mph) is
like driving the length of a football field completely blind!
can you stop your college-bound teen from texting while driving? Follow these car
safety tips for safe driving.
Talk about the dangers of texting while driving. Many teens simply
don’t realize how serious distracted driving truly is. You can influence
behavior just by giving your college-bound teen the facts on the dangers of
texting while driving. Explain that texting increases the risk of crashes by
eight to 16 times. Or that, according to the NHTSA, the impact of sending one
text while driving is the equivalent of driving under the influence of four beers!
Those are hard statements to ignore.
for other driving distractions. While texting and cell phone use are the most
common driving distractions, distracted driving is any activity that could
divert a driver’s attention away from the road. College students admit to being
distracted by everything from eating food or checking emails to switching iPod
playlists and applying makeup. (A Consumer
survey found that one-third of teens use email, apps or social media while
your teen to speak up. A Consumer Reports survey found that only one-third of
college students ages 18 to 21 would say something if they were riding in a car
with a distracted driver. Friends don’t let friends drink and drive these days;
the same should go for distracted driving. Request that, when riding as a
passenger, your teen speak up if she sees the driver engaging in unsafe
behavior. She can also offer to make a call or send a text on behalf of the
Commit to not using a cell phone while driving. Ask your teen to leave the cell phone
in the back seat so there’s no temptation to use it. If your teen can’t reach
the phone, then he can’t be distracted. If she really needs to use the phone
while in the car, advise her to stop in a safe place before doing so.
Put it down on paper. Putting together a Parent-Teen Distracted
can make the process of talking about personal safety and distracted driving
easier, and it provides concrete expectations and guidelines for teens drivers
when they leave the nest this fall.
Are you planning on having a talk about
distracted driving with your college-bound drivers before sending her off to
Guest blogger Pauline Hammerbeck is
an editor for the Allstate blog,
which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life.
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