Texting Teens – Begins With Us!
It is difficult to warn your children about the dangers of texting and driving, especially when they have seen you do it yourself! “But, I only attempt to text at stop lights,” you may be thinking. Did you know it takes approximately 27 seconds to refocus on driving after you have put your phone down?
Teenagers are by far the highest in texting and driving accidents, but it is not just our teens. 69% of 18-64 year olds admit to texting and driving. America is the highest in all forms of distractions, whether it be answering or reading texts or scanning emails and Facebook-all in the driver’s seat!
So, how do we encourage our teens, our friends, and our family members to put the phone down? So many are addicted to answering messages within seconds. Everyone understands this is risky behavior. Everyone understands the possibilities of death, but the addiction is real! And if your child is addicted to texting, your children will more than likely text and drive.
Teenagers today send an average of 2,000 text messages per month. Take a moment and look at the phone bill to see where your child falls in this number. If you feel your child is spending too much time texting or using data, take a moment and discuss the possibilities of phone addiction.
As a parent, we have to make changes within our own lives. Teach our children the importance of putting our phones aside. Not just in our daily activities, but especially behind the wheel of a car. Just as we have encouraged our children to wear seat belts,we must do the same with our phone. Allow them to see you turning them on and off while taking your trips. If you need to call someone or text, pull over to a safe place and allow your children to see you doing this!
Spend some time looking at YouTube videos of drivers who have caused accidents due to texting and driving. One great documentary to watch is “From One Second to the Next” on Netflix. Watch as a family and discuss how each of you would feel if you were involved in an accident that took a life of someone’s mother, father, son, or daughter. It is a hard habit to break in this time of age of technology, but it has to stop. Because one day it could be you or your child who took a life for a few seconds of instant gratification.