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Why texting and driving is dangerous for teens

Teens find it hard not to be connected every moment of their day. Every text message seems as though it is of utmost importance, as if their lives depend on reading every text message as soon as it arrives.

More than half of all motorway accidents are blamed on distracted drivers. Of the many distractions in the car, the biggest distraction for teens is their cell phone. There are already laws which attempt to prohibit and prevent cell phone usage while driving, but laws alone cannot prevent teenagers from being distracted by their cell phone while driving. It can be difficult for parents to keep their teens safe from distracted driving when they are out and about.

Almost two thirds of all drivers feel as though they are better than average drivers. Two out of five teenagers feel that they can text and drive without any adverse effects. One of the first things parents can do is convey to their teen drivers that no matter what, reading and writing text messages while driving are not worth risking the lives of themselves or others. The same applies for looking at or posting on social media sites, reading emails, or surfing the web.

Teen drivers should be aware of the dangers of taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel even for a moment. When a driver's attention turns to a cell phone, the driver's focus is taken off the road. Cars can travel large distances in the fraction of a second it takes to notice a potential road hazard. At 55 miles per hour, a car will travel the length of a football field in five seconds. A car will travel five yards, or 15 feet, in a quarter of a second at that speed.

Car crashes are four times more likely to take place while a driver is using a mobile device. Most teens do not realize how unaware they can be of what is happening on the road when they switch their focus to a phone. Everyone should know that it is dangerous and illegal to drink and drive, but teens should know that texting and driving increases the risk of a car crash almost as much as driving intoxicated.

Some states have been cracking down on texting and driving, but in most states the laws have failed to decrease the number of crashes resulting from texting while driving. One problem is not enough enforcement of the ban. The penalties for texting while driving are incurred secondary to other driving infractions.

Parents who use monitoring software on the phones they provide their teens can review when, where and how the phones are being used. By comparing GPS locations of their devices to the activities performed, parents can determine if their child is being unsafe while on the road. Parents can inform their children of the many dangers associated with distracted driving, and let them know that responding to text messages can wait until the lives of others are not at risk.

Written by: Kelly Austin, Mobile Spy
Posted: Jun 04, 2015 by Lisa Callaham

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