Below is a link to a new documentary about texting and driving. This is NOT just for your teens, this is for all driving members of your family. Please watch it together for the greatest impact. The statistics are staggering for texting and driving accidents across all age groups. This is a family problem, not a teen problem. When your teen sees you take responsibility and ownership for your own bad cell phone habits, he/she will be much more likely to take responsibility and ownership for their own. This is a mom AND dad problem. I know its more moms than dads who read my blog, but please, get that man of yours on board with watching this documentary. I remember meeting with a couple once. The husband jokingly said; " do you think its bad that I text with one hand, drink my beer with the other, and drive with my knees." I wasn't laughing, and he wasn't really joking!
Developing good driving and cell phones habits or changing old bad habits takes ALOT of work. Change is hard, and repeating the message and teaching strategies is the only way. A parent I worked with shared this wonderful strategy. When a pre-driving teen chooses to sit in the front seat, no cell phone use is allowed. This gets your teen to disassociate sitting in a front seat with their cell phone. We want that to feel unnatural, so when its time to drive, it would feel unnatural to use a cell phone in the drivers seat. And most importantly, in the six months of permit driving, make them put their cell phone in the same place every single time they step into that drivers seat. Repetition-repetition-repetition!
Also there is a wonderful driving program that both you and your kids should take that teaches safe driving tips. http://www.driveincontrol.com/
1. Where is your phone, and your teen's phone when you step into the car
2. Where will you put your phone, where will your teen put their phone before the key goes into the ignition, so that there will be no temptation to pick up when you hear that delightful ping of a text message, or ring of a phone.
3. Model by pulling over and stopping before you check your phone to see what very important message was left!
4. Watch this documentary together:itcanwait.com