When young people get their permits and driver’s licenses, it is a time of freedom and newfound independence; however, it may also present a variety of dangers, such as when young drivers text and drive. The Federal Communications Commission reports that nearly nine people per day die due to phone-distracted drivers, with many more injured.
While texting is often a fast and simple way to communicate with friends and family, experienced adult drivers can take a few steps to ensure their family’s new drivers avoid the kinds of accidents that can happen when people text and drive.
1. Set an example
While most teens might not admit it, they learn by example, especially when it comes to the adults who impact their lives. As such, parents, aunts, uncles and even grandparents can set an example by putting aside their own phones while driving. They can also encourage young drivers to download apps that do not allow them to text and drive and program map and hands-free call usage before they leave their location.
2. Discuss texting and driving laws
When young people earn a driver’s license, their inexperience will not excuse them from a fine or other punishment if they choose to text and drive. Many states have specific laws about this action, so it is important for parents and experienced drivers to talk to their teens about local and state laws so they can keep the possible consequences in mind.
3. Offer data
Most young drivers may understand that texting and driving are dangerous, but this is an abstract concept for many. Adults can put matters into perspective by discussing real-life data with young drivers so they do not become statistics themselves.
Even drivers in their 20s who earn their licenses may fall prey to the habit of texting and driving. Directing these individuals to safe driving classes may reduce the risk.