Modern technology, while beneficial is most cases, has added a real hazard to the already worrisome prospect of new teenage drivers heading out onto the open road. Parents are rightfully concerned for the safety and well-being of their novice drivers as they get behind the wheel with potential distractions.
The distractibility of teen drivers has grown substantially over the years with the statistics of automobile collisions on the rise due to texting while driving. Texting while driving has become the subject of much conversation in terms of parents and communities searching for solutions to this growing problem.
Distracted driving by teens has presented safety concerns that cannot be ignored. In order to improve the safety of young drivers, there are several resources available to parents who are trying to convince their teenagers of the seriousness of distracted and impaired driving.
One of the best resources parents can use to educate themselves and their teen driver is the Federal Communications Commission website, on texting and driving. The FCC cites statistical information on the connection between vehicle collisions and distracted or impaired driving. According to the FCC, nearly half of all Americans report being subjected to dangerous situations while in a vehicle being driven by a distracted driver. The number of vehicle collision fatalities caused by a driver texting and driving has created a need for further education in order to reduce the risks associated with this disruptive activity.
Sites like EndDD (End Distracted Driving) have helpful information for both teens and parents about distracted driving. The website contains video presentations that show the direct consequences of distracted driving that are designed for parents just as much as they are directed at teens. Many times, teens learn their distracted driving behaviors from watching their parents. These presentations and videos are a good refresher for parents who might be guilty of distracted driving, and for new drivers on the road.
The National Safety Council
More specific to cell phone use in the car, the NSC (National Safety Council) has helpful information and updates on their website about distracted driving and cell phones. They provide statistics, safety trainings, and even give you information about getting involved when it comes to advocating for laws against cell phone usage while driving. A helpful resource for both parents and teens, the NSC is definitely taking action when it comes to this issue.
Driving Under the Influence
Another potentially deadly activity to pursue behind the wheel is driving while under the influence of a mind altering substance. Driving while intoxicated, whether it be drugs or alcohol has been an ongoing problem that still needs addressing. Teen drivers are often tempted to partake in underage drinking and may be swayed into believing that drinking small amounts of alcohol will not impair their judgment while driving. Parents of teens can find valuable information regarding drinking and driving from organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) that will help them know how to talk with their teens about this issue. Their website also provides volunteer opportunities to volunteer, and means for donating for families who are making an effort to end this issue.
Drop It And Drive
While frightening and moving statistics are often helpful in convincing a teen that distracted driving is dangerous, Drop It And Drive takes the approach of “Science and Stories Over Statistics” in order to promote behavior change. DIAD provides presentations and seminars for groups of all ages—from elementary age children to corporate workplace groups. As a bonus, they also provide helpful links to driving simulators that can show your teen how significantly distractions affect their driving ability.
With all this to worry about, parents should look to these resources with a little extra help when it comes to preparing their teens for the road. By utilizing this information, getting involved in these programs, and being ever mindful of the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, we can tackle the issue of distracted driving together, and hope for safer roads in the years to come.