We all complain about distracted driving, but what are you as a parent doing to prevent it? Here are three things to consider.
Distracted driving is something almost everyone complains about and almost nobody takes action to prevent. We have pulled together three real-world things that a parent can consider in order to protect their children from injuring themselves or others and to protect themselves from liability.
Prevent Texting By A Driver In Your Vehicle
“Why isn’t there a way to just make smartphones incapable of working inside a car?” There is. It’s called CellControl and we have been using it in a BestRide family vehicle now for years. The device is wireless, does not require a power source and is very inexpensive. It costs about $130, which, relative to the cost of a smartphone and data plan is peanuts. Amazon sells this product and it gets 4.5 stars from users.
Check out our full review for all the details, but the way this works is simple; You spend three minutes setting up the program on your kids’ phones, (and yours too hopefully). You spend 1 minute installing the device in your vehicle and then it will block a driver from using a cell phone while driving. Sound too good to be true? It also allows you to block the phone from both front seats if you opt to and you can decide if it allows incoming calls or not. Emergency calls always work, and you can whitelist numbers the phone can call if you opt to. How do you know it works and your kid has not defeated it with some technical trick? Simple. It sends you reports (if you want them) and you can view your registered phones’ trips on a website. It even shows things like maximum speed and gives a safe driving score. This one works and is a pretty much failsafe way to prevent texting and other apps in a vehicle you own.
Bribe Your Kid Not To Drive Distracted
Hey, you! With the kid presently texting and driving, no judging, ok? Different things work with different kids. A study has found that bribes were the most effective way to get kids to quit their phones while driving. 75% of respondents said that they would give up their phones for cash. If you don’t trust your kid to stick to the financial agreement see method one above. With that method, you will know if they are complying or not.
Demonstrate Proper Screen-Time Habits
As a parent now teaching a second child how to drive in a span of two years, I can attest to this method being the hardest. While waiting at a light not going to change for 30 seconds we sometimes want to look at that message that just beeped. There are times when we’d like to make a non-emergency phone call while in the car. Almost every new vehicle has the ability to accept incoming messages, read them if the driver taps “go” and then will offer a menu of short replies one can look at and then send. When in traffic, there are times taking a peek at a traffic app to see if taking this next exit is better than waiting it out. All of these are distracted driving scenarios that we are all tempted by. Look around you in traffic. Everyone is doing these things and it isn’t just kids.
A parent who does these relatively low-risk things while a child is in the car sends the clear message that it is safe to do so. Regardless of what we tell our kids, when we do risky things, they take that action and mentally bookmark it as a safe action. Demonstrating good screen-time habits may be worth expanding beyond the car as well.
If you have other ideas for preventing a new driver from learning bad habits please share them wherever you find this story.