You've probably already talked to your teen about the dangers of texting while driving. You may have even shared car accident statistics in hopes of scaring them straight. But the reality is, when their best friend texts them with the latest hot gossip or the address to a party, even the most responsible teen will want to take a peek.
Luckily, there are many steps you can take to keep your teenage driver safe behind the wheel. Use these simple techniques to help them make the right choice when tempted by texting.
Show your teenage driver you aren't the only one who cares about safe driving. Ask them to visit the Allstate Teen Driver web page to view the promises other teens have made to keep themselves and others safe while they're on the road. When they sign a pledge or a teenage driving contract, they no longer answer only to you - they also become accountable to themselves.
Want your teen to park their phone while they're behind the wheel? Then you should set the right example. If you answer your phone while driving or send an email at a stoplight, your teen will think it's okay for them to do the same. In fact, according to a survey conducted by LG Electronics, a handset manufacturer, 44 percent of parents have texted while driving, compared to 45 percent of teens2. So, if you want to really drive your message home, make sure to practice what you preach.
Offer rewards for safe, responsible driving. For example, for every school quarter your teen goes without a ticket, accident, or using their phone while driving, you could take them to their favorite restaurant or buy them a clothing item they've had their eye on.
Allstate's safe driving reward program can support these efforts, too. If your teen is responsible behind the wheel, you can pass the savings from Allstate's safe driver discount on to them.
Let your teen know that 34 states ban text messaging while driving and an additional 7 prohibit texting by new drivers in particular3. If they get a ticket, or if you catch them red-handed, make sure that they feel the consequences of their actions. Don't be afraid to take away their cell phone in the short term to teach them a potentially life-saving lesson.
If all else fails, certain mobile devices allow parents to install apps that keep teens from sending or receiving texts while traveling faster than 10 miles per hour4. However, if a teen is riding in a car or on a train, they can send a text to request your permission to use their phones. Since you're the administrator, you can make informed decisions about when it's appropriate for your teen to be texting, until they demonstrate they can make that decision on their own.
You've done your best to prepare your teen for life on the open road, now make sure they're protected should an accident occur. Get a fast, no-obligation quote for Allstate auto insurance online, through a local agent or over the phone at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828).