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Teens and distracted driving

California teenagers are digital natives that are used to texting and scrolling social media all day long. When they start driving, smartphone use behind the wheel can be incredibly dangerous. Since teens are just learning how to drive, it’s especially important for them to limit their driving distractions.

The first few years of driving are a dangerous time

Car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for people under the age of 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, teens can only become experienced drivers by getting a lot of experience. During these first few years, teens cannot afford any distractions while they are getting the feel of the wheel. Some of the most common driving distractions include:

  • Smartphone use
  • Infotainment systems
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers

Limit smartphone use with parental controls

Smartphone use is arguably the most dangerous form of distracted driving since it combines visual, auditory, manual and cognitive distractions. However, teens usually can’t be trusted to put their smartphones in the glove compartment for every drive. Both Android and iOS smartphones have parental controls that can help to prevent teens from using certain apps while they are behind the wheel.

Teens need to look out for other distracted drivers

While we can control our own driving behavior, we can’t control what other people are doing behind the wheel. However, limiting our own driving distractions may help us to look out for other drivers who are sending texts in traffic. You can tell your teen to try to avoid distracted drivers if they spot them on the road.

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