Parents with kids who are about to hit the legal age limit for driving have to contend with a worry that parents didn’t have to fathom even ten years ago: texting and driving. Our nation’s teens are more invested in constant communication than at any time in the recent past, but when that communication extends to behind the wheel, the results can be disastrous.
A new report out of Missouri finds a local driving instructor providing parents with some valuable tips on getting teenagers to put down the phone when they get in the driver’s seat. Parents should of course speak with their teens about the importance of cellphone restraint, but they shouldn’t be hypocritical. If you don’t want your teens to text, then you have to be willing to stow the phone while driving as well, otherwise your kids will be far more likely to text themselves.
Parents might ask that their teens put their phones someplace like the trunk or the glove compartment so that the temptation to text isn’t even there. But when even that doesn’t work, parents can invest in one of the many apps out on the market. Some apps, like Text Blocker and DriveSafe.ly, will send auto-replies when texts come in to the teen. Others, like Drive Alive, are incentive-based. A teen is rewarded via PayPal when they drive in a manner that encourages safety.