Is Your Teen Texting and Driving Right Now?

If you are uncomfortable with this question, it is time to have a conversation with your teen about distracted driving and the unfortunate consequences.

Two things that you can do right away are:

Have a relaxed meeting with your teen

Set a time to meet with your teenager in a relaxed environment, possibly a coffee shop or his/her favorite pizza place. Discuss possible scenarios that your teen should be prepared for as a driver or a passenger. If your teen is a passenger and the driver is speeding, cell phone talking, or frequently changing the music your teen must have a plan in place to contact you and get out of the situation. A “do and don’t” list does not work if the teen does not know what steps to take to avoid an unsafe situation.

Design a few preplanned routes with specified stops

Changing the music, drinking, eating, cell phone talking, and texting are common distractions. Discuss the numerous routes your teen takes to get to school, sporting events, and the homes of friends. They can change the music, make a cell phone call, or have a coffee or soda at a coffee shop or fast food restaurant. They must be at a full stop, parked in a safe location for these activities. Discuss the potential consequences of distracted driving and also take the initiative to be a good role model and stop at a safe location for your telephone calls and other activities.

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