SHARED FROM OUR FRIENDS AT INTOXALOCK
While the summer season is full of sunshine, Independence Day weekend has proven to be one of the most dangerous driving holidays of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve when it comes to the potential for vehicular fatalities. Educating teens on the importance of employing safe driving habits and the tragic consequences of drunk or impaired driving is crucial to preventing tragedies.
Parents are the most important part of a teenager's early driving career. We encourage parents to have a conversation with their teens about the importance of employing safe driving habits and the tragic consequences of drunk or impaired driving, which is crucial to preventing tragedies. Empower them to make the right decisions and help keep them safe.
Ignition Interlock devices stop a driver from operating a vehicle if intoxicated. Consider gaining that piece of mind with voluntary installation of the device. Want to start a conversation but don’t know how? Here are a few ways to start:
Establish open and non-judgmental conversations
Initiating conversations with teenagers about safe driving should be rooted in a supportive environment. Listen actively, ask open-ended questions, and encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences. By fostering an environment free of judgment, teenagers are more likely to open up, actively participate in discussions and share concerns they may have.
Highlight the consequences
Teenagers often believe they are invincible and tend to overlook the potential consequences of reckless driving. Adults should take time to discuss the devastating effects of car accidents, emphasizing the lives lost or permanently altered due to irresponsible behavior. Share real-life stories and statistics to illustrate the severity of the issue.
Set clear expectations and rules
Establishing clear expectations regarding safe driving practices is crucial. Lay down specific rules such as obeying speed limits, wearing seat belts, and refraining from distractions like cell phones or loud music. Make sure rideshare apps are installed and ready to be used on their phones as good backup should their car not be available. Make clear that these rules are non-negotiable and reinforce them consistently. Encourage responsible decision-making by discussing scenarios and asking how they would handle different situations on the road.
Lead by example
Teens are more likely to imitate the behavior they witness. Therefore, it is essential for parents and adults to be role models of safe driving. Practice what you preach by adhering to traffic rules, avoiding aggressive driving, and demonstrating the importance of focused attention on the road. Teenagers will be more inclined to embrace these behaviors when they observe responsible driving habits from those they look up to.
Educate about the dangers of distractions
With the prevalence of smartphones, distractions while driving have become a significant concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a teen's chances of crashing multiplies by six when dialing a phone and by 23 when texting. Meanwhile, State Farm's 2023 Distracted Driving survey found that drivers who had their license for five years or less were significantly more likely to use smartphone apps and record and watch videos while driving than drivers who had been licensed for more than 10 years. Educate teens about the dangers of texting, talking on the phone, or using social media while driving. Discuss the potential consequences and encourage them to establish a habit of putting their phone away before starting the engine.
Ignition Interlock devices save time, money, and most importantly lives. It’s that simple. By establishing trust, emphasizing consequences, setting clear expectations, leading by example, and educating about distractions, we can instill responsible driving habits in our next generation. Together, we can ensure our communities roads are safe for everyone to arrive alive.
Download the Parent Toolkit to learn more about voluntary ignition interlock installation with Intoxalock.