Getting a license is a milestone every teenager anticipates, but new drivers face more dangers than ever before. With all the recent headlines about the dangers of distracted drivers, parents are scrambling for ways to stop their kids from texting while driving. According to this report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 claim that texting while driving has no effect on their ability to drive, but that same age group has the highest crash rate of all drivers. As a parent, how can you prevent your teen from becoming another statistic?
Lead by Example
The first thing every parent should do is set a good example. If you text, email or make calls while you drive, your teenager will assume that it is acceptable behavior and be much more likely to follow suit.
Talk to Your Teen
You may find that your teen is unaware of how risky texting and driving really is. Lay out published statistics so that he or she will understand that these dangers are real.
Good Driver Rewards
Give your teen positive reinforcement to encourage good driving. Rewards are proven to be one of the most effective ways to promote good habits, so negotiate with him or her to establish reasonable incentives for driving safely.
There are many mobile apps available today that will allow you to keep track of your teen's driving habits. Most of these apps come with a small monthly subscription, and they will send you alerts if your teen is speeding or texting while in a car.
Texting while driving can be more deadly than drinking and driving, so do not hesitate to punish your teen for engaging in this dangerous behavior. Make a zero-tolerance rule and enforce it strongly. Punishment may seem harsh, but it can save lives. Texting while driving is dangerous, and it is also illegal in many states. Your teen could risk hefty fines or even lose their license for violating the law. To make sure you know the law in your state, Free DMV Practice Tests offers cheat sheets to help you learn what rules apply.