Its one of the most widely discussed topics among parents with teens who have their license. Distracted driving is in fact, one of the leading causes of roadway dangers and accidents that occur on our roadways. For teens driving in today’s world, growing up around technology is not a new aspect. Technology has been engrained into the lives of many teens from birth, so it’s no wonder that it may be difficult to convince and ensure teens are not using technology while they are commuting.
Outside of the home, there are a few things that parents can enforce within their teens to keep them safe on the roadways. Some of these practices might even need to be practiced by parents as well- as teens are not the only individuals who engage in distracted behaviors while on the roadways. This is a common misconception that we need to overcome and realize if we want to develop safer, less accident-prone roads and highways.
Taking Small Steps
Its one of the most commonly suggested ways to overcome distractions on the roads, but it’s also one of the easiest habits to break. Start off your commute by placing your phone into your glove compartment or center console. Storing it away from your eyesight will allow you to focus more heavily on the roadways, and become less distracted.
Additionally, ensure your phone is not just on vibrate, but it is on silence. Even while its on vibrate, drivers can hear the noise (just like a ringtone would sound like), and have the temptation to reach over and answer a text message. By placing it on silence, the driver reduces the urge to check their phone and reduces the risk of an accident.
In many cars, such as a Jeep Wrangler or convertible type of auto, the driver has the ability to lock their glove compartment and/or center console. This is a great tool for avoiding cell phone use, as the driver and/or passenger can lock their phone away, and only access the device when the key is out of the ignition for the vehicle. Its an excellent way to avoid distraction.
Using Technology to Curb Technology Use
It sounds like an odd concept, but there has been technology that has been introduced to curb the use of other tech devices, like cell phone and tablets while driving.
One of the most common devices- hands-free devices- have been known to assist drivers in curbing the dangerous behavior. However, these devices still require the user to focus on what they are saying to the recipient, rather than focusing on the road in front of them. For those who struggle with multitasking, this can sometimes pose a challenge, and present just as much danger as before.
There are plenty of apps that drivers can download to curb their distractions while on the roadways. Apps like LifeSafer operate in the background mode of your device and allow the driver to enter into “drive safe” mode, where their device cannot be accessed while driving. Other apps allow the drivers to turn them on and can sense when the phone is in movement, just as it would while being carried in an automobile.
What The Experts Say
There are plenty of opinions on distracted driving, and how we can curb the seriousness of the associated consequences. As advised above, there are small steps that can be taken at home through parents and their teens, and different applications that can help to start learning how to drive without using your phone. But, what do the experts have to say about distracted driving? Most will agree that not enough is being done to curb the behaviors, and as a society, we need to focus more of our efforts on keeping those on the roadways safe. Things such as guidebooks, tutorials, and simulators are one of the proven ways to help reduce some of the dangers of distracted driving.
What small steps can you take to prevent distracted driving the next time you hop in the car?