Distracted driving is a rampant risk on roads across the country. And many people have heard it is especially common for teens to engage in distractions – especially when it comes to using their cellphones while driving.
Even though North Carolina has laws specifically prohibiting even the hands-free use of cellphones for drivers under 18, it is often difficult to enforce these laws and prevent teens from driving distracted.
So, why do teens drive distracted?
Often, teens are aware that texting while driving is dangerous. And yet, they are still more likely to engage in these behaviors.
There are a few reasons why distracted driving is so prevalent among teen drivers, including:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a teen’s inexperience makes them more likely to engage in distractions, as they do not fully understand the risks of the road yet.
- Teens’ brains are still developing, which could lead them to make risky decisions even if they know there is danger involved.
- And several studies have found some people are even addicted to their cellphones, leading teens to reach for their phones even when behind the wheel.
Also, many people who text and drive simply believe that they can do it safely.
How can parents prevent teens from driving distracted?
Teens long for the independence that driving brings them, but parents will always worry about their child’s safety. Hearing about the prevalence of teen distracted driving often only increases that worry.
Thankfully, there are ways that parents can help to mitigate distracted driving. Parents should:
- Make their expectations that children drive safely clear
- Instill the seriousness and consequences of distracted driving
- Avoid using their own phone while they drive, to set an example
The sooner teens form the habits of safe driving, the more they reduce their chance of being involved in a serious auto accident that could change their lives.