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How to talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving

It can prove difficult to get through to teenagers, no matter what the topic is. When it comes to ensuring that your young driver is safe, you want to confirm that your words are having the desired impact.

Here are three tips for discussing the dangers of driving while distracted with your teen.

1. Discuss the risks honestly

Driving while talking on the phone, texting or surfing the internet on the phone can lead to real-life consequences, including injuring your teen or others. Tell your child about the possibility of them causing harm not only to property but to other human beings. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020 distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives.

2. Practice what you preach

Children learn through observation, and if they see you texting and changing your playlist while operating a vehicle, they will likely think they can do the same. Show your impressionable youngster that you should pull over if you need to use your phone.

3. Discuss motor vehicle insurance

Since teens’ brains are still developing and they often feel immortal, it can sometimes help to talk about a tangible, such as money. Show your child your car insurance bill, and let him or her know that the rate will go up significantly if one of the drivers on the policy has an accident. Knowing that it will cost a portion of his or her hard-earned cash could help keep your teenager from reaching for the cell phone while behind the wheel.

Though you can never guarantee the safe driving habits of another, talking about the potential consequences could help.