It is safe to say that teen drivers, in combination with cell phones, is a recipe for disaster. Chimes of incoming calls and texts, texting while driving, and even hands-free calling can be potentially deadly.
Distracted driving is a growing problem that causes 2.6 million crashes every year. For parents of teen drivers, educating your children on the dangers of distracted driving and providing solutions and options for them can save their life.
“It’s not what you say, it’s what you do that will make a difference.” Ensure that you are following safe driving rules and eliminating driving distractions; your children will learn by example. Instill the importance of this issue every time you get behind the wheel.
Many drivers become distracted by their cell phones while they are behind the wheel. Putting the phone on silent may help, but it won’t prevent teens from taking photos, watching videos, or scrolling through social media while driving.
One of the best ways to prevent smartphone use is to keep the device out of sight. If a phone is out of sight, it won’t be able to distract drivers. Remind your teen to put the phone away in a glove box and on silent.
There are several distracted driving apps that can help teen drivers. Certain apps, such as BlueArrow Telematics’ BAT Alerts, DriveMode and LifeSaver, block incoming text messages and phone calls so drivers do not get distracted by these notifications. Some distracted driving apps even make safe driving a game by allowing teens to earn points that can be used to redeem rewards. By introducing teens to these apps, parents can show young drivers that their smartphones can be used for good. New technology in 2018 is sure to pave the way for even more effective safe driving apps. Check out Focus by TeenDrive for more info. [STUART, THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW BATALERTS.COM CAN BE MARKETED AND SOLD]
Smartphones aren’t the only distraction that drivers face when behind the wheel. Drivers can also lose focus when adjusting the radio, entering an address into their GPS system, or trying to get something that is out of reach in their car.
To prevent these distractions, teens should rely on their passengers for help. For example, if the driver needs something that is in the backseat, let a passenger reach for it while the driver focuses on the road.
Drivers will find it easier to focus throughout their trip as long as they take a few moments to get organized before they hit the road. Make sure everything that you will need during the trip is located in a spot that is easily accessible from the driver’s seat. Enter the address of your final destination into the GPS system and review the route before you start driving so you are already somewhat familiar with the directions. Adjust the temperature and the radio so you don’t have to do so once the car is in motion.
Some drivers will not be able to resist answering a phone call they’ve been waiting for or digging into the food they just purchased. Instead of trying to multitask and engage in these activities while driving, drivers should carefully pull off the road and find a parking lot or another safe spot to park.
Encourage teens to do this by helping them practice looking out for an opening in traffic and changing lanes in order to get off of the interstate or pull into a parking lot to encourage teens to stop driving when they need to deal with a distraction.
Sometimes, learning how to practice patience can help drivers ignore distractions. For example, if a notification appears on a teen’s smartphone screen, he may be tempted to reach across the car in order to read and respond to the text. But, a patient teen will understand that there’s no reason to immediately respond to the text. Instead, he will patiently wait until he has reached his final destination before responding.
Depending on your state, there may be a set passenger limit so the driver does not become distracted by the other people in their car. As the driver becomes more experienced and comfortable behind the wheel, he can adjust these limits to allow friends in his vehicle as well. People of all ages could implement these solutions to distracted driving in their lives in order to become better drivers.