Consider this scenario – Your teen just got his or her learner’s permit and you need to run a few errands. How nice would it be to have your teen drive you from place to place? He or she can get some practice and you can get some things off of your to-do list! You both get in the car and buckle up. Your teen adjusts the mirrors and seat, turns the car on and puts it in drive. About half way to the grocery store, a cell phone goes off and with one hand on the wheel and another rummaging for the phone, your teen nearly goes through a red light. Clearly we have a problem!
- Don’t yell and freak out if you notice your teen texting while driving. This will only put your teen on the defensive. Ask them to set the phone down until you arrive at your destination.
- In a more comfortable setting (preferably outside the vehicle), decide that, as a family, you will all make a pact to never text and drive.
- Talk to your teen about your state’s texting and driving laws and the consequences attached to them. Consider talking to your teen about the use of cell phones while driving or the amount of accidents and deaths caused each year by drivers texting behind the wheel. And make sure your examples include drivers of all ages and backgrounds.
- Be critical without being condescending. No one appreciates when someone continues to pry. Try phrases like, “I know a lot of us think we can text and still keep our concentration on the road, but none of us can. And it’s definitely not a risk worth taking!”