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Managing Teen Driving Distractions

Passengers

Teens get in more accidents when other teens are in their vehicles. In fact, putting three or more teens in a car driven by a teen increases the chances of an accident by four times.

This is the opposite of driving with adults. Accident rates for adults are actually lower when other passengers are in the vehicle.

What should parents do? Don’t allow your teen to drive other teens or ride as a passenger with other teens until they have had at least one year of driving experience since receiving their license.

Cell phones

Teens are the most likely drivers to use cell phones or send text messages while driving – even though they have the least experience behind the wheel. The danger is clear.

Regardless of one’s state laws, parents should prohibit their teens from using cell phones while driving. If your teen must use a cell phone, they should park their vehicle in a safe place first – and complete the call before driving again.

Music

Reaching for the control of a music player or playing music at a loud volume can also distract teens from driving. If your teen listens to music in the car, encourage them to choose one CD, one radio station or one list of songs on their iPod and leave it there.

Help your teen understand the importance of keeping volume at a reasonable level – so they can hear car horns and emergency vehicles.