How to Talk with Your Teen About Texting and DrivingTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. September 13, 2018
Did you know that your teen can drive the entire length of a football field in the amount of time it takes to read or send an average text? According to the CDC, that’s exactly how far we are effectively driving blind when we check our phones while driving at highway speeds.
Safety experts continue to tell us that texting and driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, but it’s not easy to get that through the heads of teenage drivers when they are behind the wheel.
That has to be a scary thought for any parent. But there’s just no getting away from the fact that relying on smartphones is a part of life these days. And that means that there’s a lethal source of distraction at arms reach every time our teens are behind the wheel.
As a parent, it’s up to you to ensure that your teen knows just how dangerous texting and driving really is and how to avoid the temptation. And, like so many things with teenagers, the key to getting these messages into his or her head is repetition.
With that in mind, we’ve put together the following tips for talking with your family about teen texting and driving.
Have an intentional, authentic conversation about the topic. Don’t make the mistake of trying to cover this important issue in passing during a casual conversation. Find an appropriate time and space to speak with your family about distracted driving specifically. Prepare ahead of time by finding some facts and statistics you want to share, as well as clarifying what you need to discuss the most. Having a list of questions ready to work from that you’d like to review with your teen can also be helpful.
Make shared commitments. Instead of dictating rules that only apply to your teen, we encourage you to make commitments together that you all agree to when it comes to distracted driving. This can include a commitment to hold each other accountable moving forward which invites your teens to remind you to hold up your end of the deal.
Agree to signing a driver’s contract. The team at TeenSafe has put together a simple document for parents and teens to review and sign together that make these commitments feel much more tangible. In addition to agreements about distracted driving, this document also covers other driving safety commitments involving issues like road rage and what to do after an accident.
Sadly, we know the devastating impact that a distracted driving accident can have on a family.
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’re committed to making our roads safer by encouraging drivers of all ages to stay focused on the road and get to their destinations safely. Unfortunately, distracted driving accidents continue to happen everyday every day, leaving car accident victims seriously injured and who may in need of our help.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a car accident in Tampa, Clearwater, or the surrounding area, please call us today at 1-800-538-4878. Our car accident lawyers can provide you with a free evaluation of your case, and we may be able to stand up for your rights.