Four tips to prevent your teen from driving distracted

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,000 people suffer injuries every day because of distracted driving. As technology for cell phones and car entertainment systems improve, drivers have more and more distractions behind the wheel.

Between smartphones, GPS, food and friends, your teenager has multiple ways to take attention away from the road. Before you let your child out on to California highways, make sure he or she understands the dangers of distracted driving.

According to the CDC, three types of distraction lead to car accidents: visual, manual and cognitive. Distraction by one or a combination of these can lead to dangerous accidents. Here are a few tips to prevent distracted driving:

  • Stay off the phone –Texting, calling, checking social media or watching videos on a smartphone distracts your child in all three ways. Cell phones take your teen’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to type and scroll. And instead of focusing on driving, your teen focuses attention to whatever is on the screen.
  • Program the GPS before leaving – If your child is in an unfamiliar area, he or she may need GPS. Make sure your child understands that the car should be parked before setting a destination.
  • Stop to eat – Eating and drinking can distract your child more than he or she may think. Stopping to eat can prevent your child from an accident.
  • Don’t let passengers distract you – Having a car can be an exciting part of teen years. But friends riding in the vehicle can divert your child’s attention. If you let your teenager drive with friends, make sure he or she can stay focused when other people are around.

Now that your teenager has a license, he or she wants to have to freedom to drive alone. As a parent, you want your child to gain experience behind the wheel. But an accident that leads to severe injuries can be traumatic for you and your child.

Practicing safe driving habits can ensure your child avoids distractions and accidents.