You are not alone. Studies show that almost half of all teen drivers have texted while driving and a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.
- Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in teenagers.
- Text messaging behind the wheel increases the risk of a crash or a near crash by 23 times, and is far more dangerous than talking on a cell phone while driving.
Research on Effective Ways to Reach Teens:
Currently, studies are being done to determine the most effective way to get teens to stop texting and driving. Some states are passing legislation banning mobile devices, and many graduated drivers licenses already have an electronic device component in them.
What Parents Can Do:
As a parent, you can develop a teen driving contract with your new driver. This gives you the opportunity to clearly lay out rules and expectations of your new driver, and tie the rules to consequences and privileges. Most importantly, you need to model safe driving behavior to your children of any age. Point out distractions, even to young children, such as changing the radio station, toys flying around the car, yelling, and fighting.
We talk a lot about cell phones and distracted driving to our young boys, hoping that the constant repetition of the message will have an effect when they become teen drivers.
Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org: