Studies indicate that teenagers are increasingly aware of the dangers of practicing distracted driving habits, such as text messaging behind the wheel, and they’re becoming more and more comfortable telling their peers to keep their eyes on the road. Many teen respondents to traffic safety surveys, however, are also reporting experiencing a potentially more complicated situation – seeing their parents texting and driving. Convincing mom or dad to hang up the phone may be more difficult than telling a friend to keep his or her eyes on the road for some teenagers, so safety experts offer a set of tips for addressing a parent’s dangerous driving habits.
If a teen has already attempted to solve the problem through subtle hints and even direct comments, a more serious discussion may be in order. Teens should make plans to sit down and have an in depth talk with the texting parent at a time when he or she has no other scheduling conflicts. After requesting their parents’ full attention and stressing the importance of the conversation, experts recommend, teens should explain the anxiety they feel when mom or dad is texting behind the wheel, citing specific examples of dangerous behavior if possible, and referencing some of the numerous statistics and research studies indicating that distracted driving increases the likelihood of an automobile accident.
Reminding parents that they are role models responsible for the safety of their children will likely convince them to be more careful. If these tactics are unsuccessful, experts recommend putting these thoughts down in a letter or enlisting the help of another adult who may have an easier time getting the point across.