Teen texting and driving as big a problem in Washington as any other state. Texting and driving especially terrifies parents, because even otherwise well-behaved teens may succumb to the temptation.
CNN illustrates, however, that adults often tend to be distracted drivers themselves. So, how can they steer teenagers down a better path? See a few tips below.
Lead by example
If parents discourage teens from texting and driving, but then do it anyway, the trouble may start here. Parents may make a million plausible excuses for why that one time may be acceptable, but that only paves the way for teenagers to do the same. As State Farm points out, parents can set good driving examples by being safe drivers themselves.
Restrict night driving
Night driving comes with many hazards. For starters, this is when most people become tired, especially after a long day of homework or sports. This is also when drunk drivers are often on the road, and to your dismay, your teen may even be one of them. Finally, even for responsible drivers who are wide awake, there is less visibility. State Farm also states that speeding is the cause of almost two-thirds of fatal crashes at night involving 16-year-old drivers.
Use do not disturb
Most smartphones have a do not disturb function. Encourage teens to turn this on before they get behind the wheel. This should silence incoming phone calls, texts and other notifications. Some phones may also automatically detect when a teen may be driving and turn on do not disturb driving mode on its own.
Many insurance companies offer apps you can install on your teen’s phone to monitor their driving. Failing this, you may try independent apps like EverDrive. However, monitoring without a conversation about improvements and consequences is futile. So, be sure to schedule time to practice safe and defensive driving habits with your teen.