According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,000 people are injured in distracted driving accidents on a daily basis. Of these people, nine lose their lives as a result of their injuries.
While distracted driving impacts motorists of all ages, young drivers have the greatest risk. For example, people under the age of 20 have the highest risk of being involved in a fatal wreck that involves distracted driving. These statistics are obviously quite frightening for parents of teen drivers. Taking the right steps to inform your teen about the many dangers associated with distracted driving can have a positive impact, however.
Educate young drivers on the different types of distracted driving
Keeping control of the steering wheel requires the use of both hands. When hands are removed from the wheel, it is considered a manual distraction. There are also visual distractions, which involve taking your eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions occur when a person’s mind is not fully focused on the task at hand. Some activities, like texting while driving, involve all three distraction types.
Limit the number of passengers your teen can drive with
While mobile devices are the primary cause of distracted driving accidents, they are not the only types of distractions you need to worry about. When teens are traveling with friends, their attention is likely to be pulled in multiple directions. Set rules in your home that stipulate that your teen can only drive with one other passenger. If this rule is broken, revoke driving privileges from your teen so he or she realizes the severity of the issue.
Set a good example when driving
Unlike drunk driving, which virtually everyone agrees is dangerous, many people take a lighter view of distracted driving. You may even use your mobile device behind the wheel from time to time, which can make a poor impression on teens. Make sure you are also curbing dangerous behaviors when driving to ensure you are setting the best possible example. Remember, even a moment of inattention can lead to a serious accident.