Having a new driver in your household is a time for both excitement and fear. No matter how many times you may tell your teen to keep their mobile device stowed away, you probably still worry about whether your son or daughter might engage in distracted driving.
According to The New York Times, here is some information that explains how primary texting laws save lives.
Primary vs secondary texting laws
Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that is responsible for a large percentage of motor vehicle accidents. When you have a newly licensed teen, the thought that he or she might not be able to resist this temptation is a valid cause for concern. Previously, the types of distracted driving that caused motor vehicle accidents were things like grooming, fiddling with the radio or eating. However, the proliferation of mobile devices over the past two decades caused new problems on the roadways.
New Jersey is a state with primary texting laws, meaning that here the police can pull you over and cite you solely for this reason. In some states, this must be in addition to committing another moving violation. Those are secondary texting laws.
How primary texting laws save young drivers
The good news is that when states with primary texting laws put them into practice, these laws save lives. In fact, death rates for young drivers are 29% lower than in states with no texting laws. Death rates in states with secondary driving laws are just 15% lower. And the fatality rate for teenage passengers in states with primary texting laws are 38% lower compared to the states without laws.
Demonstrate the importance of this practice to your teen in both word and deed. First, set a good example by never texting and driving. And, by discussing this with your young driver on a regular basis, you can hopefully drive home how important it is to never text and drive. Explain that this can save their life and also prevent harming others on the roadway.