While making mistakes is part of growing up, doing so while driving can be fatal. If your child is learning to drive, you need to be sure they do not do so while distracted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers injure around 1000 people every day.
What can you do as a parent to avoid your child driving while distracted?
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk your child becomes a distracted driver:
- Set a good example: Actions speak louder than words. If you drive while distracted, your child will notice and is likely to disregard your advice.
- Put consequences in place: It may be necessary to take away the car keys for a time if your child drives while distracted. You could look upon it as punishment, or as essential for their safety and that of other road users.
- Provide hands-free technology: Hands-free systems might encourage your child to use the phone more while driving. However, unless you know that your child will turn off their phone, they are a better option than them operating their phone manually.
- Limit the number of people in the car with them: North Carolina has laws about this. Be sure to enforce it. Friends can be a considerable distraction on young drivers.
- Take a ride with them: If you hand over the car keys when they pass their test but never ride alongside them, you have no way of knowing how they drive. Ask them to give you a lift every so often. You may spot actions they need to correct.
By teaching your child about the dangers of distracted driving, you help them become a safer driver. They will also be better prepared to cope with other drivers who are less well educated.