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5 ways to teach teenagers about distracted driving

In today's world, most teenagers have a cell phone or some type of device to keep in touch with family and friends. While these are great tools for keeping track of your kids, they can also lead to serious distraction when your kids are behind the wheel. Distracted driving can be deadly and have serious consequences not only for the driver but also for anyone injured in the accident. To reduce the risks of teens driving distracted, parents should teach them several things.

1. Devices should be out of reach

It is tempting for any driver to check their calls or texts while they are driving, but even the slightest glance away from the road can end in tragedy. All devices should be turned off and totally out of reach whenever a driver gets behind the wheel. Any message can wait until the car is safely pulled over.

2. Hands-free options are not as successful as you think

While hands-free options are often touted as ways for drivers to safely make calls and send messages, they can create cognitive distraction that makes it difficult to pay attention to the road. Teach your drivers not to become dependent on the false safety that hands-free controls seem to provide.

3. Use apps that control the device

If a driver is concerned about self-control and the ability to ignore incoming messages, there are tools that will do it for them. Apps are available for almost all devices that allow you to send automatic responses or block incoming messages while you are driving. These are valuable options for teens that often have a hard time ignoring their friends.

4. Pull over to make calls, send messages or adjust vehicle

Inexperienced drivers may be distracted by the desire to change the temperature, radio or mirrors while driving. They may also be tempted to quickly send "just one response," but the consequences for being distracted are very sobering. Encourage your teen drivers to always pull over when they need to adjust or make a call.

5. Limit the number of passengers

It is difficult for teens to concentrate on all the stimuli that come in when they are first driving, and adding a car full of friends to that can push them over the edge. As your teen gets used to driving, limit the number of passengers they have in their vehicle.

Any time a driver is distracted from the roads, accidents can happen and tragedy can occur. If you have been injured by a driver who was distracted, or someone you love has been killed, you should see an attorney immediately to discuss your options.

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