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Sunday, July 28, 2013

5 Effective Ways for Parents to Stop Their Teens From Texting and Driving

Did you know that over 3,000 teenagers die every year from car accidents that are caused by texting? It is now the leading cause of death among teens. Texting is hugely popular but also a deadly form on distraction while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have disastrous consequences. As parents, how can we protect our teens? What can we do to save them? Here are a few ways that been effective for many.

1. Set the right example

As a parent, are you setting the right example for your teen by not texting while driving? Research shows that 47 percent of adults are not being good role models because they are also engaging in the same reckless behavior. Even if your child is too young to drive yet, they are observing your driving habits and will more than likely imitate them when they reach driving age. "Do as I do" is far more effective than "Do as I say" when it comes to teaching your children the right way.

2. Discuss the consequences

Show your teens the statistics on the number of teens who have been killed in auto accidents each year due to texting. Watch videos with them or documentaries that discuss the impact on the lives of family members affected by tragic accidents caused by texting. You might call the local highway patrol for recommendations on videos that would get the point across without being too graphic.

3. Establish driving rules

Driving is a privilege for teens, one that should be earned with good driving behavior. Consequences for bad behavior, like texting or driving recklessly, should be made very clear. Once the ground rules are set, it is extremely important to follow through when the rules have been broken. This is no different than setting rules for curfew, getting good grades or doing chores, but far more important.

4. Make cells phones unavailable while driving

Another important driving rule should include a safe place for the cell phone to be while your teen is driving--far away from their reach. If the phone is there, they will be tempted to use it. Cell phones have voice mail for a very good reason. Messages can be retrieved later when your teen has safely arrived at their destination. Remind them of the risk they would otherwise be taking by cell phone distractions as little as five seconds.

5. Apps that prevent texting while driving

It is important to give your teen a chance to prove they can obey safe driving rules, like no texting while driving. If you suspect your teen is not following the rules, there are cell phone apps that can be installed to prevent texting and keep your teen safe. Textecution is an app that disables the texting function while driving and notifies you if they try to disable it. When contemplating whether or not you feel this is an invasion of privacy, also contemplate how you would feel if you did not take steps to prevent dangerous activity by your teen and it resulted in disaster.

There is no question that texting while driving is an extremely dangerous habit that should not be taken lightly. Do the right thing. Protect your teen.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.