There is nothing scarier than losing a child and even more unreal is losing them to something as simple as a text message or answering their phone. There are 1.4 million crashes in the United States and 28% of them occur because the individual was distracted by their cell phone. They were either talking on the phone or texting. A study was conducted by the National Safety Council and they found that 200,000 of those accidents are caused by distractions while text messaging.
It is important to sit down with your teenager and talk about the risk of texting while driving. Make it clear that a person’s reaction time is slowed by 35% when the driver is texting as found in a study by Transport Research Laboratory. The percentage is higher than the delayed reaction time driving drunk. They found that there is only a 12% slowed reaction time. The study looking further into how text messaging and driving can conflict and they found that drivers lose steering control by 91%. They also are more likely to drift into another lane or to make sure there is enough space between the cars in front of them.
One way to help your teen understand how dangerous it is to drive and text is to show them. Take them to an empty parking lot and have them try to text and drive. This will show them how hard it is to navigate and still effectively pay attention to what is going on around them. After the lesson, you should talk to them about why you do not want them to drive and text. It is possible for an unimportant text message to kill them and that should be clear. Also, lead by example. If they see you texting and driving, they will think it is okay if they do it.