Parents have to deal with the stress of teaching teenagers how to drive and then worrying about their kids making it home safely. These concerns have increased over the years, especially with the growing popularity of cell phones. One of out of every ten drivers under the age of twenty dies in an accident due to distracted driving. Among the causes for distracted driving, handling a cell phone tops the charts. Here are a few ways you can help keep your child safe by preventing phones from being a distraction.
1. Set up Profiles
There are several free applications that allow you to create and customize profiles for your child's phone. When your child receives a text message or a phone call, the phone will immediately cause the teen's attention to be diverted from the road. However, when you create profiles, you can set the phone up so it is silent during the times your child is normally on the road. This includes the times they would be driving to and home from school.
2. Set up Bluetooth
While talking on the phone is distracting, fewer problems occur if your child is talking hands-free. Two ways you can set up Bluetooth for your teenager's phone include using a Bluetooth headset and using a built-in Bluetooth system. With a Bluetooth headset, they will have something in their ear, which may cause other complications. However, a built-in system will put the phone on speaker, and the phone call will use the car's radio.
3. Teach the Facts
Many times, children do things because they do not realize the facts about driving distracted. Texting usually takes less than a minute, but only five seconds with your eyes off the road will cover half a football field if your child is driving about 30 mph. It is important to teach them the truth and keep drilling it into them, because statistics are that they will have a friend or know someone who will be involved in a fatal accident due to distracted driving.
While texting or talking on the phone is only one of the ways your teen can drive distracted, it is one that you can help control. It is important that your child has a phone with them when they are on the road, so they can contact someone if needed. However, with a little support from you, they can have a phone and still drive responsibly. (For more information, contact the John Tamming Law Office.)