Parents and Teens: No Texting While Driving

man texting

Parents can be the key influencers of the decisions adolescents make about risky behaviors, especially regarding driving. They are the principal role models for adolescents about which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Parents help shape the way adolescents interpret the world and how they act within it.

How can you as a parent be more proactive in teaching your teen to drive safely? Read these tips for implementing safe practices while driving with your family.

  • Turn off your cell phone while driving. Consider keeping it in your purse, the backseat or a storage bin.
  • Make sure your passengers, especially children, have their snacks and entertainment at the ready so you won't have to reach behind you to help them.
  • Eat, apply makeup and dress before you drive.
  • Assign a "designated texter," a passenger in the car to send and reply to texts and calls.
  • Read all maps before heading out. If you need to check directions, pull over. Or, use a navigation app that provides turn-by-turn voice directions.

Driving requires your full attention. You can take charge of eliminating distractions to focus on the road ahead. As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.

Be a good example. Practice responsible driving behaviors while your children are young.