Don’t send your teen the wrong message on texting and driving

Thursday February 19, 2015

According to a recent report by CNN, no matter how many times you tell your teenage driver that texting while driving is dangerous, they still may not be getting the message.

Cellphones and texting are such a major part of teens’ lives these days that they simply might not be willing to take a break while they drive.

But in order to stay safe on the roads — and avoid liability in a criminal or civil lawsuit stemming from a distracted driving accident — the message has to get through somehow. 

The CNN report indicated that one of the best ways to prevent teens from texting and driving is for parents to lead by example and not do so themselves.

Recent surveys from the advocacy group textinganddrivingsafety.com and Online Schools found that 15 percent of young drivers had seen their parents text while driving and 48 percent of young drivers had seen their parents talk on the phone while driving (which is also dangerous).

When parents tell their teens to stay off the phone while driving and then do so themselves, they are sending their teens mixed messages. The message has to be clear: It’s never safe to text or talk while driving.

A 17-year-old high school student learned that the hard way when she was involved in a car accident that left her with a severe brain injury, blind in one eye, without the ability to smell and hearing loss.

The accident occurred while the teen — who was admittedly addicted to her smartphone — was reading a text message while driving. Making the incident even more tragic is that the text was from the teen’s mom.

Even if they don’t always feel like it, parents have a lot of control over the choices that their teens make by simply leading by example. Remember this before reaching for your cellphone the next time you are driving with your teen. 

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