Put the Phone Down

As the grandparent and caregiver of 3 teens, safe driving is a hot topic of conversation in my household. There are so many things we have to worry about when it comes to teens and driving, but keeping them off the cell phone is a top priority.

A recent study by National Safety Council revealed that twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur while people are talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving. These numbers are astounding. But given how addicted we are to our cell phones these days, these numbers really aren’t all that surprising.

There are a few things we parents can do to encourage our teens to stay off their phones while driving.

Setting Boundaries - Talking and texting while driving has become a teen epidemic. In my home we’ve tried to deter this by setting firm boundaries for when cell phones can be used. In this age of electronics, it’s so easy for tweens and teens to become totally consumed with their cell phones. I’ve really tried to stress with the kids that cell phones are for emergencies, and that having one is a privilege that can easily be taken away. Limiting usage and setting boundaries for when their cell phones can be used, seems to have helped my teens to not become too reliant on their phones.

Share the Facts - Share accident statistics with your teens. It’s important that they know how many accidents are caused by using a cell phone while driving. Did you know that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting? While driving at a speed of 55 mph, that five seconds is long enough to cover the length of a football field. Can you imagine what could happen in those five seconds?

Walk theTalk - Just telling our teens to stay off their phones while driving is not enough. Kids don’t buy the “do as I say, not as I do” mindset. Let’s try to set a good example as parents and stay off our own cell phones while driving.

October 14th - 20th is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Let’s take this opportunity to talk with our teens about safe driving.

Laura writes for the family lifestyle blog About A Mom where she shares family fun, entertainment, travel, products reviews, and more with her readers. She is living a very active retirement in Georgia with her children, grandchildren, and many family pets.

Interested in more teen driver statistics? Click here to read more about what Bridgestone uncovered in its survey earlier this year.