When teenagers begin their adventures on the road, the last thing you want is for them to be distracted while driving. A few years ago, the main worries for parents were teens playing their music too loud or being distracted by their friends in the car. While these are still real risks, there is a new, and even more dangerous, distraction – texting and driving.
Texting and driving has become so dangerous among teenagers that it is now the number one cause of teenage deaths on the road in the U.S. In fact, there are an estimated 3,000 annual teen deaths and 300,000 injuries nationwide from texting and driving, according to a recent study at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York.
Recent campaigns to stop texting and driving, such as AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign and the Ad Council’s “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” campaign, focus on teens pledging to never text and drive, putting their phones in a place they cannot reach or turning off their phones altogether while driving. While it is a great idea to take a pledge to never text and drive, realistically parents want to be able to reach their teens when they are on the road. Whether in an emergency situation or just everyday life, most parents want to stay connected with their teens but want them to be safe while doing so.
A more realistic approach that other campaigns have noted is using a smartphone app that will help teens avoid texting and driving. Several have been created that disable a phone while in motion or use voice commands. One example is Privus Mobile’s Caller ID app. It includes a feature called Voice Cue which audibly announces who is texting or calling the driver, whether the name is in the teen’s contact list or not, the moment the text or call arrives. This allows the teen to decide whether they want to simply ignore the message until reaching their destination or pull off the road to respond to it. By using this app, teens can be safe on the road while staying connected to their loved ones and avoid looking down at their phone.
As parents, it is important to always encourage your teenager to drive safely, whether that is reminding them to look twice before turning, always use their signals or not text while driving. By continuously doing this, teens will learn the importance of driving safely and hopefully we can reduce the number of teen driver-related accidents.
Go to www.privusmobile.com/eyesontheroad for more information on apps that combat texting and driving. This article was contributed by Greg Smith, president and CEO of Privus Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accudata Technologies. Privus Mobile, which is focused on providing the most comprehensive Caller ID service available, is headquartered in Allen, Texas. For more information, visit www.privusmobile.com.