I have one heartfelt request to all the parents of high school and college students who will kiss your child goodbye and wish them a good school year. Before you let them pick up their keys do whatever you can to get them to promise not to use the cell phone to call or text while driving. Yes, it’s the law in New York but how many of us have driven behind someone who was driving erratically because they were: texting, talking on the cell phone, typing on a computer (oh yes I have seen this)?
According to Distraction.gov “Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes,” and ” you are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving.”
As parents, you’re the number one influence on what kind of driver your teens become. Help them develop a lifetime of good driving habits by following these simple steps:
- Have the Talk
Driving is a serious responsibility. Discuss what it means to be a safe driver with your teen and set ground rules for when they’re behind the wheel. If your teen is on the road, they should stay off the phone.
- Make a Family Pledge
Print out the pledge form and have every member of your family commit to distraction-free driving. Set a positive example for your kids by putting your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you drive.
- Know the Laws in Your State
Many states have Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that include cell phone and texting bans for young drivers. Remind your teen driver that there could be serious consequences for violating these laws – including a delayed or suspended license.
Don’t text and drive!
posted by – Susan, Health Reference Services