Since my oldest daughter is turning 16 in less than 2 weeks, I can’t stop thinking about one of my biggest fears for her: distracted driving. She is the oldest child, a great student, strong athlete, friendly and the ultimate rule follower. Thank goodness. We’ve talked literally dozens of times about the dangers of texting and driving. She knows that it is absolutely unacceptable under ANY circumstances, and I am fully confident in her commitment to not text and drive. Mostly from the standpoint that she wouldn’t break the rule that we have, but I think she is also truly fearful of what could happen.
A lot of her friends are turning 16 soon, or recently have started driving as well. I love these sweet girls and would be heartbroken if any of them made the mistake that costs them or someone they hit their life.
You can’t ‘over-discuss’ this with your new driver. Since this is top of mind for me right now, and since this was one deadly risk that my generation never faced when we were learning to drive (I didn’t even own a bag phone until I was out of college:), I wanted to post some statistics that might be helpful for you to discuss with your own young drivers.
According to statistics on distraction.gov:
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)
Scary thought. I’m not done yet. The infographic below has some very sobering statistics every new driver (and experienced driver) should read about distracted driving.
Now that I have your attention with these stats, there are two final tips that can prevent this deadly mistake:
1. Sign a contract with your child. If you expect them to commit, you need to set the example and commit with them. You can one example of a text-free driving pledge at the link below.
2. AT&T also rolled out an “It Can Wait” campaign, encouraging drivers to text their friends ‘#X’ before they leave so their friends know not to expect a response until they arrive. There is a pledge on this website as well. To find out more about this great campaign that is gaining lots of momentum, click on the link below.
Let’s do everything in our power to prevent losing anyone else to distracted driving.