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Why you shouldn’t teach your teen driver to text at red lights

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

For many new drivers, ignoring technology at the wheel is one of the biggest challenges. Honestly, many adults struggle with the appropriate use of technology while driving, which is likely one of the reasons why manual phone use while driving is against the law in Connecticut.

Mobile device distraction has become a serious issue on the road, causing thousands of preventable crashes every year. Some people read and respond to text messages while driving or record videos to post to social media while at the wheel. Anyone can make bad choices, but distracted driving is especially dangerous for those without adequate driving experience.

As someone training a teenage driver, you want to teach your kids the best safety practices and all of the workarounds that help you stay safe. Though you may think that teaching a young driver to text at a red light or four-way stop would be better than demanding they not text at all, it is not as safe as you might think.

Distraction continues when you put down the device

Manual distraction with your hands isn’t the only distraction you experience when you handle a mobile phone. You also have visual distraction from looking at the phone and cognitive distraction as you think about your phone or the message that you receive.

All three of those forms of distraction could be dangerous, but even when you look forward and resume your grip on the steering wheel, your cognitive distraction doesn’t end. If someone puts their phone down when the light turns green, they will drive while still experiencing significant cognitive distraction.

Researchers have determined that the average person will not fully refocus on driving until 27 seconds after they put their phone back down. Your teen driver will not have their mind focused on safety if they grab their phone to fire off a few texts every time they stop at a red light.

A total tech blackout is the best option

While it can be frustrating to disconnect at the wheel, it is the safest option. Teaching your teen driver not just to set their phone down but to also turn the ringer off is important for their overall safety. Drivers are less likely to experience cognitive distraction if they do not know when new messages or emails hit their devices.

You can improve the chances of your teen following your distraction rules by setting an example with your own phone while at the wheel. Addressing the concerns that contribute to modern car crashes, like distracted driving, will help keep you and your teen drivers safe.



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