Before the era of smartphones and integrated car navigation systems, distracted driving meant chatty drivers or adults driving with small children in the back seat. Unfortunately, this generation of drivers is subject to many more distractions. While adults can understand the risks and manage accordingly, it can be challenging for teenagers.
Teenagers and electronic devices
Teenagers nowadays have their smartphones with them 24/7. One of the most common things teenagers do on their phones is engage in communication with others via social media. The term “selfie” has become part of everyone’s lexicon and taking a picture of oneself is no longer embarrassing.
Our society has become increasingly individualistic, and our children are growing faster. It is not unusual to see a teenage girl applying makeup on herself at a red light or an adolescent boy responding to a game request on his smartphone while driving.
Distracted driving accident rates
Not surprisingly, rates of distracted driving accidents have skyrocketed, especially among teen drivers. Drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 are at a higher risk of distracted driving. About 3000 people die in crashes involving distracted drivers every year. With distractions everywhere, it is no surprise that adolescents are at a much greater risk of getting into a car accident.
Adolescents are told often that distracted driving is a problem. However, this information seems to go through one ear and out the other because of peer pressure and because technology devices are habit-forming.
Safe driving applications
Most teenagers who own or carry a smartphone have access to apps and can download apps. Many of these apps allow connecting with others who have the same app.
Developers have devised clever ways of using technology to help parents protect their teenagers by creating applications that parents can use to monitor their teenager’s driving. These applications can also assist teenagers in reducing distractions.
Examples of such applications are Drivemode Dash and Truemotion Family Safe Driving. Both apps should be available in the Google app store and iPhone app store.
There are things you can do to educate and guide your youngster as they mature and understand the risks. Ensure you stay current on how you can help your teenager. It could save a life.