Distracted driving is a serious problem that can lead to accidents, injuries and even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year.
As a New Jersey parent, you want to protect your kids from this danger and teach them how to be safe and responsible drivers. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Set a good example
Your kids learn from your behavior. Make sure you are not using your phone, eating, drinking or doing anything else that takes your attention away from the road when you are driving. If you need to make a call, send a text or check your GPS, pull over to a safe spot first.
Talk to your kids
Talk to your kids about the risks of distracted driving. Explain to them how texting, talking on the phone, changing the radio station or looking at something outside the car can distract them from the road and increase their chances of crashing.
Tell them about the laws and penalties for distracted driving in New Jersey, which include fines, points on their license and possible suspension.
Establish rules and consequences
Make it clear to your kids that they are not allowed to use their phones or any other device while driving. You can also limit the number of passengers they can have in the car, as having friends can be another source of distraction.
Let them know what will happen if they break these rules, such as losing their driving privileges or paying for any damages.
Use technology to help
Some apps and devices can block phone calls and texts while driving or send automatic replies to let others know that the driver is busy. You can also use a tracking app or device to monitor your kids’ driving habits, such as speed, location and braking. This can help you identify any issues and provide feedback to your kids.
Praise good behavior
When your kids follow the rules and drive safely, acknowledge their efforts and reward them with praise, privileges or incentives. This can motivate them to keep up the good work and show them that you trust and respect them.
Distracted driving is not worth the risk. By following these tips, you can help your kids become safer and more responsible drivers and prevent tragic consequences.