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The dangers of distracted driving

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of all fatal crashes among teen drivers (age 15 to 19) involved distracted driving at the time of impact. Educating yourself and your family members around the dangers of distracted driving can save lives. If you have concerns that your teenager may be engaging in distracted driving, heed this advice on how to prevent your kids from distracted driving.

Statistics show distracted driving is dangerous - especially for teens

3,179 individuals died in 2014 from accidents involving distracted drivers. An additional 431,000 people became injured during auto accidents with distracted drivers. These numbers show that distracted driving is a grave problem affecting Americans of all ages. Unfortunately for parents, teens are the age group most likely to engage in distracted driving.

Texting while driving gets a lot of negative press, and this behavior does indeed cause accidents. Yet there's much more to distracted driving. Behaviors like talking on the phone or to passengers, putting on makeup or fixing hair, eating, using a GPS system, or changing the radio all constitute distracted driving.

To change your child's behavior, educate them on all the behaviors they should avoid in the car. Reinforce this by modeling good driving habits when you drive your family around. If you use your phone while driving, your child will copy your behavior instead of heeding your words.

You can prevent distracted driving

Since many causes of distracted driving involve poor choices, education is key to stopping distracted driving. Your teen may never text and drive but think nothing of eating fast food behind the wheel. Both behaviors could cause a serious accident.

The good news it, it is even easier than ever to prevent distracted driving from smartphone usage. There are apps that prohibit texting while driving, using the phone camera or making calls. These apps allow your teen to set route guidance on their device for safe driving, yet not engage in potentially harmful behaviors. Some apps reward teens for driving safely with coupons for local stores. Others alert you if the app is deleted or disabled, so you can have a discussion.

Remember, distracted driving is dangerous, but it can be avoided. Follow these tips for a safer ride.

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