We all know the hazards of distracted driving, but we don’t always let this knowledge stop us from peeking at our phones or playing with the radio dial.
Today’s teens have grown up with technology that many adults didn’t have access to in their first years of driving. This electronic familiarity in young adults leads many of them to believe they’re more than capable of juggling the road while texting, scrolling through a play list or checking social media.
Despite what young drivers may think, just talking on a cellphone behind the wheel puts them at a higher risk for severely impaired reaction time, according to the Pew Research Center.
Instead of only telling teen drivers not to text and drive, talk with your child about why they want to reach for their phone. When they receive a distracting notification, even when not driving, teach them to:
1. Pause before automatically reaching for their device.
2. Actively think about what’s making them respond abruptly to phone cues.
3. Consider how their focus has been interrupted.
4. Practice waiting 10 minutes before checking devices after receiving notifications.
5. Review their efficiency, self-control and concentration after 10 minutes are up.
The best way to engage your teen in safe driving habits is to have them practice being mindful of distractions in other settings. This works better when you lead by example. Avoid using your phone or hands-free devices while driving and when doing other tasks that might require precise attention—such as cooking. Put your own phone on vibrate, silence or power it off completely when driving.
Lead by example, and join your teen in taking the Road Rules pledge at www.SEMOCruiseControl.com today.
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