There are a lot of distractions on the road, but what many people don’t realize is just how many there are inside the car, too. To a new driver, these distractions can be the most dangerous. Help your teen recognize interior distractions and their risks. Create some rules to make sure they are not putting themselves and other drivers in harm’s way.
Rule 1: No texting or talking on the phone
As soon as your teen gets into the driver’s seat, he or she should turn off the cell phone. Any text message or phone call can wait until he or she has reached the destination. Even the quickest OMG, LOL, K or BRB takes a driver’s eyes and mind off the road. It’s dangerous for the driver, passengers, others on the road and pedestrians. Tell your son or daughter a cell phone is off limits while driving.
Rule 2: Stow the MP3 and curb your appetite
Using CDs, an MP3 player or even eating and drinking are unsafe practices for a driver. When driving, it’s not just where your hands are, it’s also where your head is. Eliminate distractions and encourage safe driving. But let’s be honest, teens are going to use iPods and listen to the radio. Encourage them to create a playlist, select and settle on a station ahead of time, or leave the controls to a passenger. Frame it the same way you would a seat belt, just like they shouldn’t be driving until after they’ve buckled up, they shouldn’t be driving until after they’ve set the tunes.
Rule 3: Save the socializing
The risk of a life-threatening crash is four times greater for a teen driver with passengers. Help your teen understand that when he or she is driving, it’s not a social situation. Not only should teens be careful for their own good, they also have a great responsibility for the safety of their passengers. Teach your teens to take good care of their friends by focusing on their driving. It’s better for everyone involved.
To learn more, please visit www.KohlsBuildingHealthyHabits.com.
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