By now you should know that texting and driving is a serious, deadly problem. It’s an epidemic that is threatening the lives of drivers across the country—especially our teenagers. Because texting is a standard form of communication for this age group, the temptation to text while behind the wheel is high, and it’s not only hurting them, but also the drivers around them.
As a parent, you probably agonize over this topic. How can you know that your son or daughter is being responsible and keeping his or her eyes on the road? How do you know if their friends are doing the same thing? Yes, restricting their phone use is a good way to handle it, but it doesn’t completely cut to the heart of the matter: responsibility.
At D&R Autoworks, we are sincerely passionate about the subject of texting and driving, and we want our teenagers especially to be safe on the roads. And, as family men and women, we also want to help our parents out there handle the topic as best they can. That’s why this week we are putting on our parenting hats and talking to you about communicating with your children on this important issue.
The subject of texting and driving can be a great opportunity to teach your teens about responsibility. After all, if they are going to have cars and phones, they need to know how to properly handle them both and to be wise in the power they carry. As drivers, they are responsible for their own lives, the lives of their passengers and those of other motorists, and they need to learn how to embrace this kind of responsibility in their hearts and minds. When they understand the weight of the situation, they will then be more motivated to make wise decisions.
One helpful tactic that has emerged in the area of texting and driving prevention has been the practice of establishing a written family contract. By writing out a pledge and signing on a line, teens can learn how to not only behave behind the wheel, but also to stick to their word—both highly valuable lessons. When it comes to creating a contract, you can either establish your own as a family or participate in one of several already available online. We personally like the one from Allstate Insurance, but there are several others out there depending on what you believe are the most crucial points. The important part is simply to discuss the process and agree to the points of the contract and communicate with your teen to help them understand the responsibility that comes with taking the wheel. While establishing a contract won’t guarantee that they will never text and drive, it will certainly challenge them in new ways and add a new level of personal accountability. And those are both good things when it comes to learning how to behave responsibly.
At D&R Autoworks, we know parenting is harder than auto service. We have the easy job of getting to provide you with care and maintenance for your vehicles. You’re the ones responsible for the hard part that comes after you leave our station. Just know that we’re in your corner and will be here to help however we can. This week, refuse to let you kids become statistics of the road through texting while driving. Talk with them about the issue and establish healthy family rules now before the chance passes you by and you wish you did.