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Tips To Help You Teach Your Teens The Seriousness Of Distracted Driving

Much has been said recently about the dangers of texting and driving, but this is not the only type of dangerous behavior that people engage in when behind the wheel. Anything that takes your attention and focus off of the road can be a danger, including eating a burger, applying makeup, smoking a cigarette or even fiddling with the radio to find a good station. Distracted driving is dangerous, and you can teach your kids more about the dangers of driving while distracted by other things by following a few important steps.

Model Good Behavior

One of the most important things you can do to teach your teens is to model appropriate behavior on the road. If you use your phone while driving, your teens will unlikely take your advice seriously when you advise against it. Be sure that you are not distracted while driving, so they understand that you feel it’s a priority.

Discuss All Types of Distracted Driving Behaviors

Some teens may believe that any legally permitted driving behaviors, such as eating or smoking while driving, are safe. Just because the behaviors are currently legal does not mean that they are safe. Discuss with your teen all of the different types of activities that are dangerous to do behind the wheel, and explain why they are so dangerous. Teens should be conscious of the decisions they make while driving and should always be encouraged to take time to eat at a restaurant or to pull over to use the phone rather than to rush from place to place.

Mandate a Defensive Driving Course

Defensive driving courses often talk about safe driving behaviors versus distracted driving, and some have excellent videos that are included as part of the curriculum for students. Some states, such as Texas, are even requiring teen drivers to watch a video about distracted driving before becoming fully licensed. As a parent, you can mandate these own things with your child regardless of what the state you live in requires.

Establish Rules for Safe Driving

Parents can also set clear guidelines regarding safe driving rules for their teens. For example, limiting the number of friends allowed in the car at one time or banning cell phone use while in the car are thoughtful limitations some parents have already adopted for their teen drivers.

Some people believe that they can multi-task and drive their vehicle safely while doing other things, but the reality is that people who are distracted on the road are unsafe. This is unsafe for the driver as well as others who share the road with a distracted driver. As a parent, you can follow these tips to help your teen driver learn how to be more responsible and safer on the road. You can find more details about distracted driving discussed at

Tim Esterdahl

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