Dr. Joel Haber, a clinical psychologist and LG Text Ed council member, explains that for teens, texting and driving is an even bigger problem than it is for adults.
First, kids text more. Texting is their preferred mode of communication. According to a recent LG Text Ed survey conducted by LG Mobile phones, while half of all teens admit to texting while driving, only 4 percent of parents are aware of this.
Second, teens are inherently novices when it comes to driving. They especially need to focus on the road to compensate for any lack of driving skill or experience.
Third, teens can literally be driven to distraction. If a teen is caught up in a dramatic or tense texting conversation, it could be too enticing to focus on the phone instead of the road.
The U.S. government’s official website on distracted driving, www.distraction.gov, cites multiple statistics on the dangers of this careless behavior:
• Using a mobile phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
• Driving while using a mobile phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
• Drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves as those who don’t.
• An estimated 11 percent of drivers are talking on cell phones while driving at any point during the day.
1. Impress upon teens the need to not text or talk on the phone while driving by not doing so yourself. Beyond providing an example of responsible behavior, this creates a safer driving environment.
2. Explain to your teens the seriousness of the situation and let them know that it is important to have a plan in order to avoid temptation. For example, have them always keep their cell phone off while driving or in the backseat out of reach to avoid distraction completely.
3. Learn more from the experts in mobile technology at LG by visiting the company’s LG Text Ed website, www.lgtexted.com. As part of its Text Education campaign, LG offers insights and solutions on how to avoid possibly harmful behaviors such as distracted driving. In order to keep distractions to a minimum, LG encourages all drivers to never text while driving and to always use a hands-free Bluetooth device when operating a vehicle.