Perhaps, as a teacher, you have kids of your own and will understand the importance of conversations about distracted driving. Here’s some simple dialog where an educator can engage and get parents involved.

A question for parents:

Have you ever been doing something and have seen your kid watching you? Kids learn from their parents. They watch what the most influential adults in their life do, and then copy them. If they see you talking on the phone while you are driving, eating food, drinking coffee, and texting on your phone, they are going to emulate you. By changing your driving habits and showing your kids the right way to drive, you can make it seem “desirable” or “cool” to be safe and pay attention to how you are driving. Kids like to brag about their parents – if they tell their friends about how good of a driver you are, their friends or their friends’ parents might then be influenced to take a look at their own driving style and change it accordingly. 

If you really do not think that your kid can keep their eyes off of their phones for a quick drive to school, then something needs to be done. Of course, you do not want to strand them without any form of communication, so you might choose to not take away their phone. However, there are certain apps you can install on your kids’ phones, or have them upload themselves, like Cellcontrol, Drivemode, or tXtBlocker.

These safety apps prevent drivers from being able to use their phones in the car, although it allows passengers to use the phone for them. This can cut down on texting and encourage hands-free use, although kids might still find ways to get around this app. Even so, talking through what you want your passenger to do on your phone is less distracting than taking a hand, or both hands, off of the wheel and using the phone yourself. This change can encourage others to download the app, showing it is not ridiculous or over-bearing for parents to encourage their kids to use this app on their phone, despite being independent teenagers.