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How to Help Prevent Distracted Driving Among Teenagers This SummerJune 29, 2023
Prevent Distracted Driving Among Teens in NC This Summer
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A., our Charlotte car accident attorneys know, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
While that alarming statistic includes adult and teenage drivers alike, the CDC reported a higher percentage of drivers aged 15–20 was distracted than drivers aged 21 and older. The reality is, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving is responsible for over 58% of teen crashes.
A recent CDC survey of U.S. high school students found that 39% who drove in the past 30 days texted or emailed while driving on at least one of those days. Unfortunately, teenage negligence behind the wheel does not stop there.
Students who texted or emailed while driving were also more likely to report other transportation risk behaviors including not always wearing a seat belt, being more likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking alcohol, and more likely to drink and drive themselves.
Here are a few ways to help prevent distracted driving among teens in North Carolina this summer, so we can all make it home safely.
Have a Conversation About the Dangers of Distracted Driving.
While teenagers are not always the most communicative group, parents must do all they can to emphasize the rules and responsibilities involved in driving. Share stories and statistics related to teen/young adult drivers and distracted driving and remind them that driving is a skill that requires their full attention, 100% of the time they are behind the wheel.
Underscore that social media, texts, emails, and phone calls can wait until arriving at a destination.
Here are a few other tips that can help:
- Lead by example by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while driving will help reinforce that you are following your own advice.
- Limit peer passengers to help teens avoid in-car distractions.
- Download an app to your teen’s phone to block texts or calls while driving.
- Create a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that puts these rules in writing to set clear expectations, limits, and consequences for distracted driving.
All families with teenagers have different dynamics, so only you — the parent — know what will help keep your teens and young adults from distracted driving. If nothing seems to be working, consider a local driving class that emphasizes the dangers of distracted driving, so they can hear it from a third party who can really drive the point home.
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