Distracted driving, looking away from the road for mere seconds, can have serious repercussions for your teenagers. Helping them grasp the magnitude of such a dangerous decision may encourage them to avoid it altogether.
Teaching your children by example is an incredible way to make a difference. Your own actions coupled with education and consistent discipline could have a considerable influence on the choices your children make.
There is nothing wrong with setting rules for your children to follow, particularly if those rules will prevent serious accidents that could have fatal outcomes. Talk to your children about what distraction looks like: talking with passengers, texting, eating and changing radio stations.
Tell them to put any cellular devices away prior to driving. Ask them to limit the number of friends they have in the car at one time. Remind them to program everything before they drive anywhere. This includes adjusting the seat, programming a GPS and fixing a mirror, for example.
Talk with your children about the consequences of distraction. According to U.S. News, one study revealed that while driving, teenagers use their phones more than 30% of the time. Even though they might see their friends do it, it is your responsibility to make consequences for your children. Decide what will happen if your children do not comply with the rules. Make sure they understand the consequences.
Consider implementing a driving contract. In this informal agreement, you can discuss your expectations. Having a tangible document that both parties can reference may also encourage your children to abide by the rules.
Raising responsible teenage drivers requires consistency and awareness. Your effort could be the reason your children stay safe, and it might also be the reason they end up helping their friends drive responsibly.