The Dangers of Distracted Driving: Tips for Families With Teen Drivers

Most teens do not realize the importance of devoting all their focus to the road while driving. As a result, a lot of accidents take place on the road because of people who’ll be doing something else as they are driving. As a parent, you need to ensure that your kids are aware of what could happen if they do not drive carefully.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Safe driving requires that a driver devotes their total focus to the road. Distracted driving refers to any activity that shifts the driver’s focus from driving. This can be anything from talking or texting to taking calls while driving.

There are activities that are more distracting than others. For instance, texting requires the most attention, and a driver will end up taking their eyes off the road entirely. Such activities are perilous, especially when one is speeding. At 80km/hr, taking your eyes off the road for about five seconds is the equivalent of driving an entire football field blindfolded.

This is why speeding is the chief cause of road accidents. If you are speeding, you can’t afford to have anything distract you for more than a second. Teaching teens the dangers of distracted driving should therefore be an important parenting task. Let’s look at some activities that can shift a driver’s attention from the road.

Electronic Devices and Music

A lot of drivers understand that using electronic devices like phones and stereos while driving is dangerous, but many still do it anyway. The moment one fiddles with an electronic device, their driving deteriorates by more than half. It’s best to put your electronic device on hold while driving.

Blasting loud music while driving can make you feel like you are invincible. Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to drive while listening to loud music. Loud music increases the chances of driving irresponsibly, which can cause accidents.

There are studies that show how loud music can impair a driver’s driving ability by negatively impacting the driver’s reaction time. There is an increased likelihood of not braking soon enough. Experts also suggest that when music is too loud, drivers often cannot dodge obstacles in the road before it’s too late. Some cities have even criminalized the act of driving with loud music on. Driving with loud music would be a punishable offense, and it can cause a citation.

Other Passengers

Passengers can be an enormous distraction while driving. This can have a negative impact on young driver performance. When driving, ensure that all passengers are calm and properly seated with their seat belts on. When young, inexperienced drivers are with friends, they can become overexcited, especially when alcohol is involved.

It’s best to drive first and have fun with friends later instead of ending up in a hospital or worse. Car accident-related injuries take time to heal and the medical bills can be very costly. For instance, bone fractures can take up to 10 weeks to heal after a road accident.

Impaired Driving

Operating a vehicle while affected by drugs, alcohol, or sleep is very dangerous. For your own safety and that of others, do not drive while impaired at all costs. If you are impaired and you want to go somewhere, have someone else drive. As a parent, it’s important that your teenager knows they can trust you to call and pick them up in an emergency or unsafe situation.

How to Handle a Car Accident

If your teen is involved in a car accident, knowing what to do can be the difference between it being a minor setback or it being a colossal disaster. The first thing to do after an accident is to call emergency services. While they are on their way, ensure that the area is secure. This will help protect other drivers on the road and everyone else who was involved in the accident. From there, wait for the ambulance and police to arrive before you do anything. You can only administer first aid if you have been trained; otherwise, leave it to emergency personnel.

Leaving an accident scene unsecured is dangerous. There is a lot of traffic on the road, and other cars can crash into the accident as well. About 12 million vehicles, including locomotives, rail cars, trucks, and other vessels, move goods and people via the transportation network. It is therefore best to ensure that all those people don’t end up being part of the accident.

Distracted driving is dangerous. It’s better to stop the car and park safely if you know that there are other things you need to attend to. Driving requires your undivided attention, and any extra activity that you take part in will balloon your risk of crashing. Be sure to discuss these dangers with your teen driver as soon as they obtain their driver’s license.

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