Texting and driving…….ways you can protect your teenagers

Having a teen driver can add a lot of stress to parents, not to mention some gray hairs……

The popularity of mobile devices unfortunately has dangerous consequences.  Statistics have proven that mobile communications have made a significant increase in distracted driving, which can lead to injury or loss of life.  The numbers are rising at an alarming rate every year.

The first step as a parent is to sit down and talk to your kid(s) and talk to them often about the risks and dangers to themselves and others traveling on the road.  They will probably have lots of reasons why it’s okay like “It only takes a second”, or “All my friends do it”, “or “I’m great at multi-tasking.”  A good deterrent I have found during my research is to take away their phone and/or their vehicle if they break the rules.  Just a week of no transportation to work or school can make quite an impact.

A few statistics relating to texting/talking while driving:

  • In 2011 at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones
  • In 5 seconds traveling at 55 mph equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road
  • You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting
  • You are 2.8 times more likely while dialing
  • You are 1.3 times more likely while talking/listening
  • You are 1.4 times more likely while reaching for a device
  • 82% of 16-17 year olds have cell phones and nearly 1/2 of all U.S. high school students 16 and older text or email while driving
  • According to the Texting Awareness Foundation, about 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year

Luckily there are many options out there to help track your teen’s activity.  One in particular that our agency has tested is “Canary – Teen Safety”.  I had both of my children have it on their phone for a week and was very impressed with the app. They offer a free 7 day trial and then after it is only a $9.99 one-time fee for up to 10 devices.  This app alerts you to texting, talking, emailing, and  browsing while driving, speeding (or riding in a speeding car), and can even show you the location via GPS where they are at. Sample screenshot of my actual test:


This app works on both Apple and Android devices, although the Android offers more capabilities.  “Textecution” is another app that we have researched (Android only).  It does not allow the phone to text once the vehicle is going over 10 mph.  I would recommend contacting your carrier to see other options they may have also, but maybe start by trying the Canary free trial.

Educate your kids today to help them understand the dangers and consequences of texting and driving.  It can save a life……possibly their own!  Take the pledge today at www.itcanwait.com!