Without a doubt, distracted driving is dangerous. Every year, more than 3,000 Americans die in vehicle collisions related to distractions.
While anyone can suffer the consequences of a car crash, young people have the highest risk. For this reason, knowing how to help your teen avoid distracted driving can help keep him or her safe.
1. Understand the types of distractions
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three kinds of driver distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. When your teen takes his or her eyes of the road, this is a visual distraction. When hands come off the wheel, this is a manual distraction. The third type, cognitive distraction, occurs when a driver has his or her mind on something else.
2. Talk to your teen
Make time to sit down and talk to your son or daughter about the dangers and behaviors of distracted driving. By making it a two-way conversation, you can increase the chances of your teen being receptive to your guidance. Encourage him or her to ask questions and to think about examples of distractions.
3. Set firm rules and consequences
In addition to communicating with your teen driver, setting firm rules and consequences can help enforce your words and increase the chances of your son or daughter listening to you. If you witness distracted driving, make sure to correct it. Avoiding the conversation cannot help a young driver improve.
Although you cannot protect your child from every risk, providing guidance and a good example may go a long way toward reducing the chances of a distracted driving accident.