Teaching your son or daughter how to drive is a big deal. It’s typically equally as nerve-racking for both parties involved, and even after passing their license exams, the training never really ends becoming a new driver. Texting was never a concern for parents of children in past decades; the big fear of them not paying attention, speeding, or getting on busy highways were the big issues back in the day. Currently, with cell phones being the most influential danger to drivers young and old, parents have a lot to worry about.
With the increase in car accidents across the country, many states have taken matters into their own hands by instilling cell phone bans to encourage safe driving habits. Some have restricted cities, school zones, and neighborhoods from using cell phones entirely even to make calls, while others have outlawed texting only. With new research just in from the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting that was held in San Diego this spring, it’s still a massive issue getting kids to put their devices down and drive with full attention.
Forbes published the highlights that reflected the Center for Disease Control and Prevention survey results from teens that were interviewed in 2011, and in 2013. This crucial “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey” inquired about texting whilst driving and then depicted whether or not after the texting ban laws were put into place if that had any progress in decreasing accidents.
Between this 2011-13 timeframe, some 14 states across the nation outlawed texting while driving. The survey included data obtained from over 1500 teenagers in 2011 and over 1300 in 2013. The results were telling; showing a decline in texting rates went from 43% to 30% of those surveyed that changed their habits as a result of the bans and the public awareness of fatal texting crashed combined. Some have parents that most likely restricted their use of the cell devices while driving, which certainly helps when consequences are a threat at home to do the right thing while in the car with friends.
Talk with your teens about the importance of attentive driving at all times, and put some form of system in place that encourages distraction free driving. Most cell phone plans have websites that will show you the data regarding calls/texts made from and to their devices to check up on them and truly see if they are utilizing their phones when driving. If you find that your child is a driving texter, it may be best to take their phones until they learn to be more responsible. Remember that most parents today did not have the luxury of cell phones as teenagers and life went just fine. They can also have an agreement to call or text a parent when they arrive at their destination to add a layer of security to their teen driving habits.