Texting has become one of the dominant forms of communication. Sometimes it is the easiest way for families and friends to keep in touch. With the importance our kids are placing on texting it is vital for parents to talk to them about the responsibilities that go along with having a phone, especially while driving!
In 2011, 28 percent of automobile accidents occurred because of cell phone activity while driving. That’s over 1,000,000 crashes per year! More teens die each year in car crashes than from disease, drugs, or guns. Over 75 percent of teens and young adults believe that they can safely text and drive. Over 50 percent even say that it is easy to do! To a parent, these statistics can be very scary. There are ways to reduce the chances that a son or a daughter will be another statistic.
First, parents need to talk to kids. They need to tell children about the dangers of texting and driving long before the kids reach driving age. The younger the kids and the more often the warnings, the more likely the message will stay with them.
Second, in addition to reminding young drivers that texting while driving is illegal in many states, parents need to set their own texting rules and consequences. Kids should be informed of them before they get in the driver’s seat. Once the ground rules are established parents need to stand firm, enforce rules, and dish out consequences when they are warranted.
The earlier parents talk with their kids about texting while driving, the sooner there will be peace of mind that they are safer behind the wheel. Today is the right day to have that conversation. Today is the right day to lower the statistics. Talk now. And remember… A parent is a child’s first teacher. Set an example early. Don’t text and drive!