As the parent of a new teen driver you worry about lots of things. You worry about your teen’s skills as a new driver. You worry about your teen being distracted by their cell phone, their friends, or about their desire to eat while driving. How can they stay focused on safe driving and the road ahead?
Rather than simply hoping your teen arrives safely, you can begin the conversation now – teaching them about common distractions and how distractions can lead to a crash.
Most importantly – model safe driving behaviors yourself so your teens learn by seeing.
Here are our S-M-A-R-T tips for preventing distracted driving:
STAY FOCUSED ON DRIVING
- Keep eyes on the road
- Scan surroundings for hazards
- Keep both hands on the wheel
- Check blind spots
MAKE PREPARATIONS BEFORE YOU BEGIN
- Secure children & pets
- Find sunglasses
- Store loose items
- Prepare navigation tools
- Set audio and climate controls
- Complete personal grooming or adjust clothing
- Fasten your seat belt
- Text or talk later – leave your phone alone
- Wait until stopped to:
- Look for something in the vehicle
- Change vehicle controls (AC, mirrors, etc.)
- Search for music or change the radio
- Eat or drink
- Read map directions or adjust navigator
RELY ON PASSENGERS
- To call or text
- To navigate
- To secure pets
- To help children
- To look for things in the vehicle
- To adjust radio, AC, heat
TEXT OR TALK LATER – LEAVE YOUR PHONE ALONE!
- Create a calm environment
- Ask friends & family to avoid contacting you when they know you’ll be driving
- Let your friends know that you don’t talk on the phone or text while driving
Now, return the favor. Avoid calling or texting other drivers when they are on the road!
The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Trauma Program and Kohl’s Cares® began the Kohl’s Drive Smart program to use evidence-based practices to reduce distraction risks through simple steps for the driver and for passengers to stay safe.
Take the next step:
- Read about our partnership with Kohl’s Cares and visit the Kohl’s Drive Smart website to download our Teen Driving resources.
- Request our Teen Driving Kit – including a free Cell Keeper bag to hold your teen’s phone while they drive.
- Check out our Parent-Teen Driving Agreement (PTDA) to help you keep one another accountable for these good habits.
- Visit Distractions Avenue, our fun simulation to see how quickly you and your teen can make the choice to avoid distractions and arrive safely at your destination.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.