Automatic Way to Prevent Texting and Driving
Today’s topic in Parents of Teen Drivers Group is regarding one of the most dangerous things that a teen driver (or a driver of any age) can do when they are behind the wheel – texting while driving. You would think that common sense would teach us that taking your eyes off the road to look at a phone is a bad idea, but still, far too many people do it. It has an irresistible allure.
It is a huge deal and is one of those things that is so hard to prevent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving was a factor in 2,841 vehicle crash fatalities in 2018. Yet, still too many teens text while driving.
The best way to prevent something like this is to start better habits in our children when they are young. It is comparable to when seat belts were made compulsory a couple of generations ago. People fought against being forced to wear them, but the younger generations grew up buckling up and now mostly follow the law.
It will be a similar process with texting and driving. We need to instill the importance of never texting while behind the wheel until it becomes a regular practice.
There is a helpful setting on the iPhone. If you go to the settings tab, there is an option for “Do not disturb.” If you click on it and scroll all the way down, you will see a “Do not disturb while driving” option. It is a useful tool to use to stop our teens from texting while driving. It will prevent calls and texts from coming in or going out and potentially distracting your child while driving.
It is not a foolproof plan, but it is something that you can do automatically, and the only way around it is to override it. You can also check your teen’s phone from time to time to see that they are continuing to use that setting.
There are other apps and technology which can help discourage texting and driving that are well worth investigating.
Please comment below if you have any other tips, suggestions, or comments about this issue that are effective with your kids. It is something we can all benefit and learn from. I am happy to discuss those and explore other ways to discourage texting and driving.
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