Your teen receives a text message. Thumbs flash, head bends down, eyes only on the tiny screen in hand; the want to connect is almost overwhelming.
It's difficult to picture your child (or any teen) not responding.
But that is precisely what young drivers must do in order to be safe on the road.
Given kids' craving for constant connection, this is not always the case. And the outcomes are frequently terrible. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11% of teenage drivers in fatal crashes in 2010 were distracted, with nearly one out of every five using cell phones.
Here are five things you can do to assist your teen stop texting:
Accept that your young driver is more likely than an adult to text, and will do so in more dangerous scenarios, according to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research.
Learn about the effects of texting. According to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research, taking a driver's eyes off the road for a few seconds is the equivalent as driving the length of a football field at 55 MPH without looking at the road, raising the risk of colliding or almost crashing 23 times.
Adopt a "coaching approach" to sharing these information with your teen in regular chats about their general driving. Give explicit instructions, expectations, and assistance. Consider putting it all in paper in the form of a basic parent-teen contract.
Consider installing technology in your vehicle to assist you in coaching your kid to become a safer driver. Technology can assist you in learning about your teen's driving behavior. Some provide input when a motorist brakes hard, which is commonly the sign of a texting driver, suddenly concentrating on the road and spotting the automobile in front of them.
Also, do not text while driving.