How can I discourage my teen from driving distracted?

Driving distractions are a serious issue for all motorists. Even if you commit to safe driving, others around might not be on the same page. This is especially true when it comes to younger drivers, such as teens. The Balance explains why teen drivers are more likely to take risks behind the wheel, which can end in catastrophe. 

On a daily basis, up to 1,000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving behaviors. These behaviors can involve many different activities, although most people are familiar with the dangers of texting and driving. Eating behind the wheel, daydreaming, adjusting a GPS, or even carrying on a conversation with passengers are all considered distracted driving. In fact, 15% of accidents involving teens and distractions were caused by the presence of passengers in a vehicle. 

As a result, it’s crucial that parents with teen drivers in the family take the proper steps to discourage bad driving behaviors. For example, you can make a rule that your child is not permitted to take passengers until his driving skills increase. This preserves your child’s safety, while also protecting other drivers from becoming the victims of a serious accident. You should also discuss all the possible ramifications of distracted driving with younger motorists. 

Along with emphasizing the safety risks, also highlight some of the legal ramifications that may occur. Most states have laws in place that cause penalties for distracted driving. If your teen is caught engaging in risky behaviors, she could be subject to license suspension. Fines can also be expensive, especially when distractions lead to an accident. Finally, make sure your teen driver understands that traffic violations will lead to increases in insurance. You might even consider insisting your young driver covers his or her own insurance costs to instill greater responsibility.