Distracted drivers cause most of the road accidents than anything else and especially when it comes to new drivers such as teenagers and young adults.
It should be needless to say that paying attention while you’re behind the wheel is the key to good driving, but the numbers prove that many vehicles on the road is doing everything but focusing on their driving.
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Here is a handful of ways to how you can teach your teen to stay focused and alert while driving to avoid putting themselves or others at risk. It just makes it a bit safer to be out on the road again.
First: Stay off the phone while driving
Luckily, drivers to are forbidden to use their cell phones while the car is in motion. This is a good thing, and officials are expecting this to help reduce the number of fatalities caused by distracted drivers.
While texting and social media are strictly forbidden, you’re allowed to use handsfree and in-dash navigation systems, though, so don’t despair; you’ll still be able to make those important phone calls.
It’s a good idea to keep your hands off the phone altogether. If you need to make an emergency call, pull off the road, take your time, and get back out there when you’re ready to focus.
Being caught mid-text while you’re also behind the wheel could mean a juicy fine, first of all - and for repeat offenders, it could mean some time in jail. It’s just not worth it, in other words, and you’ll be putting your fellow drivers on the road at risk as well.
Next: Limit the number of passengers in the car
Talking to others on the phone and using social media can certainly be distracting, but so can your fellow passengers in the car. If you find it impossible to concentrate while other people are talking, you may want to limit the number of passengers you take onboard - or just tell your teen that they should require a bit of silence while they’re driving.
This is especially true for novice drivers, by the way, who are often young and a bit too eager to participate in the conversations in the back seat. Any insurance company and car accident lawyer can testify to the number of accidents where cars packed with teenagers are involved, so keep the environment in the car as quiet and focused as possible.
That way, it will be so much easier for your teenager to react quickly in case something should happen - and they will get used to focusing on nothing but the road as well. It’s the kind of stuff that teaches great driving habits right from the start instead of just sticking to them once in a while.
Don’t eat and drink in the car
Busy people tend to be distracted drivers as well, so finish your breakfast or lunch before rolling out of the garage. It’s just as bad as being occupied with social media when you should be concentrating on the road, really, as your hands well as your mind will be busy eating.
Tell your fellow passengers the same if you have a brand new car and you suspect that their fast food habits may distract you, by the way, so that you don’t catch yourself glancing over every other minute to make sure that no ketchup stains are about to ruin your precious car seat.
When you want to make the roads a safer place and be a responsible driver, your teenager will have to be able to set boundaries. If someone is being noisy and refuses to calm down, pull over and get them out of your car.
Ask to install a monitoring app
It may seem harsh, but it’s a lot better than being involved in an accident - and you’ll keep the other drivers a lot safer too. Keep in mind, however, that there are ways to feel a bit more comfortable while your teen is out on the road.
Ask them if you can install an app, for example, to monitor their driving - or buy a cherished number plate so that it’s even easier to find the car if it should be stolen. Your teen probably won’t mind having a personalised number plate anyway.
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If you need some ideas on great apps that can help you to monitor your teenager’s driving, we have a couple of them lined up for you here. The app TrueMotion Family Safe Driving allows you to tag along on their driving route through your own phone so that you can see where they end up and how they got there, in the first place.
It’s a great app for parents with young drivers in the family - but perhaps a bit overly supervising if you have kids that are college-age.
There are a variety of other driving apps as well, though, so have a look at this article and find the one that works best for your family. Some of them are even for free or offer you a trial so that you can check it out before committing to anything by paying for it.
Think about your own driving habits too
If you want your teenager to be a great driver, it’s important that you set a good example. Try to think about your own driving habits which they will have noticed up through the years; are you prone to checking your while driving, eating your lunch mid-traffic or chatting to those in the backseat a bit too often?
In that case, you can feel fairly certain that your teenager will do the same thing. They have seen you do it and you didn’t end up in an accident, after all, so why shouldn’t they continue the bad habits?
Give yourself a reality check before you expect your teen to act any differently and you might find that you as well as your kid can become an even better driver.