Protecting our children is always a parent’s highest priority, but figuring out a way to keep them safe isn’t always so simple. In today’s society, where, social media and staying connected to one another is so relevant, how do we teach them that their safety is of the utmost importance? Posting the most recent selfie or responding to that text message right away may seem like the most important thing in the world to a teenager, but to a parent, it could be their worst nightmare.
Having any kind of “talk” with your children can be an awkward conversation for all parties, especially if it’s something that’s never applied to your life before. Perhaps your teen just received their driver’s license or maybe they carpool to school with a friend or neighbor? In any situation, talking to your kids about distracted driving is a must-have conversation.
Lead by Example
The easiest—and possibly the most effective—way to protect your child against the dangers of distracted driving is leading by example. Make an effort to behave the way you would want your child to if they were behind the wheel. Put your phone away. Keep the volume on the radio at a moderate level. Wear your seat belt. In many aspects of life, we teach our children through our own behavior. Not only would you want your child to remain safe, but you want to make sure to protect yourself, as well.
Inform them. Of course, you don’t want to terrify your child, but they do need to understand the dangers of distracted driving. This free course can equip you with the necessary tools to educate your family. Statistics are also a great way to do this.
According to www.Distraction.gov, the US Government’s Official Website for Distracted Driving, traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for American teens.
- 3,154 people were killed in distracted driving related accidents in 2013
- As of December 2013, over 153 billion text messages were sent per month
- Drivers under the age of 20 are the most likely to drive while distracted
Teenagers tend to listen better when you relate to them on a more personal level. Unfortunately there are countless stories from parents who have lost children because of distracted driving, including these stories of relatives who’ve lose their loved ones. Telling their stories—while sad—can make an impact on the choices your child makes while driving.
Get the Entire Family Involved
You don’t want your children to feel suffocated or as though you’re singling them out. A great way to get the entire family involved is by committing to drive distraction-free. You can take a pledge and promise one another to always drive safe. This way, everyone can be held accountable for their actions. You can also test your knowledge to see how prepared your family is.
What tips and suggestions do you have for parents? Share it with us in the comments section below!