Teen driving mistakes

Parents May Be Distracting Their Teen Drivers

Parents may be distracting their teen drivers by calling to check up on them. According to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention, more than half of teens responding to a survey said they were on the phone with a parent while driving.

According to the teens, the parents were checking on their whereabouts and expected the teen to answer the phone. If the teen didn’t answer, the parent kept calling until they did.

It’s understandable that a parent would want to stay in contact and would worry if their child failed to answer the phone but parents should understand the dangers of using a phone while driving and set up rules for the teen to check in without having to use the phone while driving.

Rules may include:

  • Checking in at certain times.
  • Understanding that the teen can’t answer while driving but must pull over and call back as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • The phone’s GPS can sense that it is in motion and the phone’s answering machine can generate a message that the phone’s owner is driving and will call back as soon as he/she arrives at their destination.
  • Set up different ring tones so that the teen knows which parent is calling without having to answer the phone.
  • Set a reasonable time limit for the teen to pull off the road and answer the call.

There are also apps that can be loaded onto your teen’s phone to notify you of their whereabouts and other devices that can be placed in the car for real time tracking. Read more: Teens’ distracted driving often caused by parents