3 ways to educate new drivers about the dangers of texting and driving
It may seem like just a quick distraction to send off a text while you are driving, but the results can be deadly. As teenagers start driving and learn to adapt to the rules of the road, it is important that they learn to avoid the temptation to text and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 391,000 people were injured in car accidents that involved a driver who was distracted while driving. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed.
To avoid accidents that can be fatal, parents and guardians should educate new drivers about distracted driving. Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. They will do as you do, not as you say
If you tell your teenage driver to never text and drive but find yourself constantly doing it in the car, they are more likely to follow the example of what you are doing rather than what you said. It is not just teenagers who should avoid texting and driving; all drivers should stay focused and completely aware of the road and the pedestrians and drivers around them. Be sure to set a good example to minimize the chances that they will engage in this risky behavior.
2. Clearly State Instructions
When a new driver gets his or her license, he or she should be given clear, concise instructions on what to do and what not to do while driving. Make a list of things your driver cannot do while driving, and remind him or her that taking eyes off the road can be deadly for anyone in or outside the car, even if it is just for a second or two.
3. Be Active and Engaged
Make efforts to be actively engaged in teaching your teenagers to drive. Take them out on your own and walk them through how to drive defensively and what to do with their phones while they are driving. Remind them that nothing is important enough to cause injury or death to themselves or another person. Accidents caused by texting and driving can completely ruin the future of the driver and anyone else involved in the accident — but are avoidable when taking the proper precaution.
State Laws Concerning Texting and Driving
While North Carolina currently has no ban on using hand-held devices or texting while driving, it may be up to parents to stress the importance of focusing on the road at all times. Whether the state bans the action or not, the deadly consequences can be the same in every state.
If you have been injured by a driver who was texting at the time of the accident, it may benefit you to speak to an attorney about your options.