30 Apr Have You Talked To Your Children About Safe Driving?
Remember those “Baby On Board” suction cup signs that parents used to put in their car rear window before bringing a newborn home from the hospital? Well, that baby is now grown and is ready to hit the road solo with a license in hand. If you haven’t started the conversation with them already, it’s time to talk to your children about safe driving with the focus on not texting and driving and not driving distracted. It just may save their life or the lives of others on the road with them, and it may help lower that costly teenage driver car insurance as an added perk.
While it may be very difficult to believe as you watch your teen shrug, roll their eyes and walk out of the room, they really do listen to their parents above most other influences. Though ideally, the time to begin talking to your kids about safe driving is a few years before they are even eligible to get a driver’s permit and while they still look at mom and dad with childlike wonder. However, if you haven’t yet begun this discussion, now is the time Don’t wait any longer. Do it before you hand them the car keys for the next trip behind the wheel.
Here Are The Facts
For starters, let’s share some statistics that matter and will give what you have to say some more merit. Accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths. According to the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1.6 million accidents every year are caused by cell phone use. One out of every four accidents, 25 percent, happens because of texting.
But, it only takes a few seconds to glance at a phone. How can these seconds be that crucial?
The truth is that if you are traveling at a speed of 55 mph, every 5 seconds puts you the length of a football field farther down the road. This simple glance takes your eyes off the road for enough time to send you barreling down a football field distance in a vehicle, essentially blindfolded. Ten percent of all fatal teen driving accidents stemmed from driving distracted. In fact, you are six times more likely to get into an accident due to texting while driving than you are to run into trouble on the road from driving while intoxicated. These are some pretty sobering stats, and they are some of the reasons why car insurance for teens is higher than that of a more experienced driver.
Teach By Example
Besides facts, the next best thing you can do as a parent to get your point across is to live by example. What you say is important, but your child has been watching what you do from the moment they were born. They are no doubt most likely still imitating what they observe in your behavior. This means that you need to set a good example as a responsible driver. Much like you probably secured them safely into an infant car seat when they were babies and then insisted on them clicking the seat belts as they grew before you would start the car, as the driving adult make sure you continue to set a good example. Set your cell phone out of view before you turn the ignition, and don’t look at it while driving. Better yet, turn it off completely. If you need to respond to a text or phone call, pull over to a safe location off the road.
Keep The Conversation Going
Don’t just have one conversation and think you’ve done your job as a parent. Have several talks about this, ideally many casual comments along the way to properly prepare your teen for responsible driving. However, you choose to get this message across, do your best to speak to your children about safe driving with the focus on not texting and driving, not driving distracted. It may do more than reduce their car insurance rates. It could save their life.