How to stop your teen texting while driving?
As parents, how can we stop teenagers taking serious risks by using their mobiles while driving? Here are some of our suggestions:
1. A good example
If you have bad driving habits, such as texting or talking on your phone while driving, your teenager is likely to pick them up. The best solution is to lead by example and promote good driving behaviour.
2. Weigh it up
Instantly responding to a message is tough for teens to overcome, especially in the fast paced, connected world in which they live. The reality is; it is only a message that can wait. Be direct and ask your teenager if texting while driving is worth risking their life for? This sobering thought should help them think twice about texting behind the wheel.
3. No reading or sending texts at traffic lights
Your teenage driver may be under the mistaken impression that it’s okay to create a quick text or read an incoming message when stopped at traffic lights. Make it very clear to them that this is against the law as well as being extremely dangerous.
4. Observe your teenager driving
One of the best ways to know how your teenager behaves behind the wheel is to be a passenger in the car and watch how he or she handles situations. Spend as much time as possible with them during the time they are learning to drive and gently correct any bad habits.
5. Use an app
If phone notifications are likely to prove too distracting, look into apps with them that allow them to lock their phones when driving as well as those that permit you to view their phone while or after they drive.
6. Your car, your rules
If you own the car you set down the rules regarding acceptable driving behaviour. Your teenager should know that there are consequences for breaking the rules, especially texting while driving. Think carefully what those consequences will be and be sure to discuss them with your son or daughter.
7. Leave phone in the boot
You can’t expect your teenager to leave the house without their phone, but you can insist that while they are behind the wheel that the phone stays in the boot, glove compartment or on the back seat. If it is unavailable to them, they’re less likely to use it. Of course, if the phone is in the car, it needs to be turned off or muted.