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Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving: Helping Teens Become Safer Drivers

Posted by Sue Scheff on October 16, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

National Teen Driver Safety Week is here!

Distracted driving kills the same as drunk driving. That’s the message people need to understand. Generations prior it was loud and clear, if you drink and drive, you risk killing yourself or other people on the road.

We must make distracted driving as serious as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

New Survey Suggests Over Half Of Teen Drivers May Be Overconfident In Their Driving Skills

Hum by Verizon released new survey findings to raise awareness of teen driver safety, the needs of young drivers, and the benefits that technology can provide on the road. KRC Research conducted the survey of 1,004 American teens (ages 13-17) between Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 2017.

More than half (57 percent) of teen drivers responded that they are just as good at driving as their parent or guardian, yet nearly three in four (72 percent) have felt unsafe on the road and cited getting into an accident (77 percent) as their No. 1 concern on the road.

Additional findings include:

Opportunity for more driver’s education

·        51 percent of teen drivers wish they had learned more about how to drive safely in ice, snow and wet weather.

·        47 percent of teen drivers wish they had learned more about how to change a tire and 44 percent wish they knew how to jump start a battery.

·        34 percent wish they had learned more about how to handle distractions in the car while driving, either through driver’s education or with their parents.

Teens’ confidence and concerns

·        57 percent of teen drivers would prefer to learn driving skills from someone other than their parent or guardian.

·        77 percent of teens say their main concerns on the road are accidents and 53 percent are concerned with other aggressive drivers, followed by getting a speeding ticket 42 percent and running out of gas 37 percent.

Responsible use of tech

·        82 percent of teen drivers say that technologies like blind spot detectors, back-up cameras and traffic alerts have helped them improve their driving.

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100 Deadliest Days on the Road

Posted by Sue Scheff on May 26, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

AT&T stresses IT CAN WAIT message

Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 deadliest days , when the average number of teens dying from car crashes is 16 percent higher than the rest of the year, according to AAA. That’s because teens are on the road more during the summer months. During this time of year, more parents are also on the road while taking their kids to swim lessons, baseball, softball, summer camp, and more.

AT&T is using the Memorial Day Weekend as an opportunity to remind young drivers, and their parents, to never let their smartphones distract them behind the wheel. And a good first step is to take the pledge at www.itcanwait.com to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. AT&T launched the It Can Wait campaign in 2010 to help put an end to texting and driving. Since that time, AT&T research has revealed smartphone distracted driving has grown beyond texting to video chatting, emailing, web surfing, photo snapping, posting to social media, and more.

In addition to taking the IT CAN WAIT pledge, AT&T encourages drivers to use a free app, like AT&T DriveMode, to help curb the temptation to engage in texting while driving. This is especially important for teen drivers, since texting is their primary mode of communication. The DriveMode app silences incoming text messages and sends an auto-reply to the sender letting the person know you’re driving. The app’s auto-mode feature automatically turns on the app when you reach 15 MPH and turns it off after you stop. And parents will receive a notification if their teen driver turns off the app. The AT&T DriveMode app is available to customers of all wireless carriers for iPhone and Android users.

AT&T has also added a virtual reality experience component to the IT CAN WAIT campaign to show the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your smartphone while driving. You can download the free AT&T VR app and buy Google Cardboard at www.ItCanWait.com/VR to use with your smartphone to experience the IT CAN WAIT driving simulation.

Lastly, AT&T encourages you to get involved with the IT CAN WAIT movement and educate others in your community and workplace about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. You could just save a life.

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A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Teen Drivers in 2017

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 20, 2017  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

It’s 2017, and iPhones are everywhere. As a result, distracted driving is the talk of the town. According to some sources, it’s even more dangerous than drinking and driving, which is on the decline. However, it’s also important to remember the dangers that drinking and driving pose to our teenagers.

Distracted driving kills 8 people per day, while drinking and driving kills an average of 24 people per day. It gets worse. According to the Center for Disease Control, teenagers are 17 times more likely to die from an accident when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% (the legal limit for adults). Now for the good news. Since 1991, the number of teens who admit to drinking and driving has decreased by 51%. The Center for Disease Control attributes this decline to four factors:

  1. Minimal Legal Drinking Age:
  2. Zero Tolerance
  3. Graduated Driver Licensing:
  4. Parental Involvement

Minimal Legal Drinking Age laws restrict alcohol consumption for all individuals under 21, while Zero Tolerance laws make it illegal for minors to drive with any blood alcohol content. These laws are present in all 50 states. Graduated Driver’s Licensing laws grant additional driving privileges as drivers gain experience. These programs include provisional licenses and learner’s permits. They are also present in all fifty states, but they differ widely. Click here for a guide to GDL programs in every state.

Parental Involvement is the biggest the biggest variable by far. So, how can you keep your teenager safe on the road? First, you need to accept that your child may drink. You also need to assure them that you will be there for them if and when they run into trouble. This could mean paying for an Uber, ordering a cab, or picking them up. The goal is to dissuade your teenager from drinking and driving by offering a better alternative: judgement-free help.

You can also help them build good habits while they earn their learner’s permit. A driving contract is a perfect way to establish guidelines and encourage good driving habits. An effective driving contract should include guidelines for your child, but it should also describe the consequences for breaking those guidelines. Your contract could include some of the following guidelines:

  • Never drink and drive
  • Never text and drive
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Always obey speed limits
  • Only drive between the hours of 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM
  • Only drive with a maximum of one (1) other teenager

Possible consequences might include grounding, additional chores, or the inability to drive for a set time. Guidelines and consequences will differ for every family. Just make sure to communicate openly with your spouse and your child as you draft a contract that you can all agree on.

If your budget has room for a car, you can also purchase a teen-friendly vehicle. Used cars will give you the most bang for your buck, especially because many teenagers will crash within their first month on the road. If you’re going shopping, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a comprehensive guide to purchasing a vehicle for your teenager. Here are a few of the takeaways:

Above all, the most important thing you can do is to model safe behavior. If your child sees you talking on the phone, driving under the influence, or driving recklessly, they’ll learn from you. As you continue into 2017, remember that you are the biggest influence on your teen’s safety. Drinking and driving is already on the decline. Keep it up, and we will eventually eliminate DUI. Distracted driving, you’re next.

Contributor: Jayson Goetz is a young writer whose work primarily focuses on educating readers about the effects of science and technology on today’s society.

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Cellslip: The Gift of Saving Lives

Posted by Sue Scheff on December 07, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

pixabaytextingdrivingNo one needs to be reminded of the deadly statistics of distracted driving, especially as it pertains to teen drivers.  However let’s review some of them again from Distracted Driving Accidents:

  • 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
  • Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving. That’s right, it is actually safer for someone to get wasted and get behind the wheel than to text and do it.
  • It takes an average of three seconds after a driver’s mind is taken off the road for any road accident to occur. This is the bare minimum amount of time it takes, and it is surprisingly small. Three seconds is the time it takes to turn your ignition when starting your car.
  • Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.
  • 94% of teenagers understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35% of them admitted that they do it anyway.
  • Of all the teenagers ever involved in fatal accidents every year, 21% were using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
  • Teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash when texting while driving than adults.
  • 25% of teens respond to at least one text while driving, every single time.
  • 10% of adults and 20% of teenagers have admitted that they have entire conversations over text message platforms while driving.
  • 52% of these talk on the phone while driving, and 32% text on the road.
  • When teens text while they drive, they veer off lane 10% of their total drive time.

cellslip3Finally there is a perfect gift that can save lives, including your teenager’s life. Cellslip is an easy to use pocket that they can insert their phone into before they start driving. It blocks all incoming calls and text messages so they can concentrate on the road. When you remove the phone from the pocket, all your messages are received! They won’t miss a thing! No FOMO! (Fear of missing out).

It’s bright red to remind you of the dangers of distracted driving.

They have partnered with AAA, so this insures they are a quality product for you and your family’s safety.

This is a perfect holiday gift, not only for your teenager or young adult in your life, but for that hard to buy for person.  Have a holiday office party? Give them a Cellslip!

Cellslip also will promote businesses by personalizing pouches with your company logo’s.

Order your’s today – check out family pack!

Holiday special PROMO CODE: Use SlipItOrTicket and get 30% off your order!

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Preventing Distracted Driving: 5 Tips for Parents of Teens

Posted by Sue Scheff on October 27, 2016  /   Posted in Digital Parenting, Parenting Teens, Teen Help

pixabaydrivingDistraction is one of the biggest problems with driving for people of any age. For teenagers, however, it’s especially dangerous since they may not have the driving skills and reaction time to quickly recover from near-accidents. Stress the importance of minimizing distractions while driving with your teens. The following five tips can help to achieve this.

  1. Educating your teen about the dangers of distracted driving is essential, and one of the first things they need to learn. Talk with them about the dangers of texting, talking, eating, and doing other such tasks while driving a vehicle. Sharing stories with them about tragedies that have occurred due to distracted driving can emphasize the point. There are also commercials and videos that demonstrate these dangers that can be used as educational tools.
  2. Teens love driving around with their friends, but teenage passengers can often cause distractions. One tip to help control that is to limit the number of passengers allowed in the car at one time while your teenager is driving. Your child probably won’t be thrilled about the restriction, but it’s better to annoy them than to cope with the devastating aftermath of an accident.
  3. While it may not seem like an obvious factor, closed-toed shoes are important when it comes to safe driving. Although they’re a favourite, flip-flops are not the best footwear to wear when driving, since they can easily slip off while using the brake pedals. This can easily cause a distraction, so it’s best to suggest your child wear closed-toed shoes while getting used to driving.
  4. One of the worst distractions in a car today is mobile phones. This holds true for both teens and adults. How can you be absolutely sure your teen is not texting, talking, or using an app while they’re driving? Downloading a safety app can help. There are several apps available that can give you, the parent, control over your child’s phone, like disabling it when they take the car out for a drive. Some apps also offer auto-power off features that disable the phone when the vehicle reaches a certain speed.
  5. It is important for parents to lead by example. If you say one thing but do another, your teen will pick up on that and not take you seriously. As a parent you need to be sure to always buckle your seatbelt, do not text, and do not talk on your phone while driving. If you need to make a call, text, or change the GPS, pull over to do so.

Safety is All That Matters

You child may not be happy with some of these ideas being enforced, but at least they’ll be safe while out on the roads. You can always suggest that they get a job within walking distance if they take issue with your rules.  Once all is said and done, all that really matters is the safety of your teen and everyone sharing the road with them.

Contributor: Vee Cecil is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. Vee is passionate about studying and sharing her findings in wellness through her blog MyNewWell.com.

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Teen-Involved Crash Deaths Spike 10 Percent

Posted by Sue Scheff on October 12, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

teendriverstatWhile the rate of teen driver-involved crashes has declined significantly over the last decade, there is still significant work to be done. A fresh look at 10 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) shows the improvements in teen-involved fatal crash rates have not been as dramatic for older teens (ages 18-20) as compared to their younger counterparts (ages 15-17), and teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a crash than adults. The report examines the differences in fatal crashes between older and younger teens, as well as by gender, and provides a set of 11 policy and best practice recommendations for states to implement.

What is the problem?

  • The analysis finds that teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their adult counterparts.
  • New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show teen-involved fatal crashes spiked 10 percent in 2015, the first uptick since 2006.
  • According to GHSA’s new analysis, fatal crash rates for 18- to 20-year-old drivers have shown considerably less improvement over the past 10 years than for 15- to 17-year-old drivers.
  • Older teen drivers are involved in more fatal crashes than younger teens.
  • It is estimated that one in three teens is not licensed by age 18, which means that they do not benefit from graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, which are proven to reduce crash risk by as much as 30 percent.

The report was funded through a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. The data analysis was conducted by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants, and the report was researched and written by national teen driving expert Pam Fischer.

Read the full press release here.

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5 Common Driving Myths Young Motorists Swear are True

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 22, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

TeenDriver555If you want to know anything about driving, ask a new teen driver. While their overall enthusiasm and eagerness to get behind the wheel is heartfelt and genuine, many teens seem to possess a great deal of driving knowledge that’s not always accurate. With that in mind, check out the following commonly held beliefs about driving — and why they’re fiction instead of fact.

Keeping Your Wheels Shiny and Clean

A commonly held opinion among young drivers, notes Cars.com, is the importance of keeping the dashboard and wheels as shiny and clean as possible. The theory behind this myth is that using a protectant compound will protect the wheels and dashboard, keeping them in better shape for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, when it comes to the shiny dash, it can actually be unsafe; a slippery dash with a mirror-like finish will give off a major glare, which can reflect on the windshield and make it hard to see.

And while shiny, clean tires look nice, the best way to take care of them is through proper, regular maintenance. When it comes time to replace two or four tires, be sure to purchase new, name-brand tires from a reputable company, and always put the newer tires on the rear versus the front. This is true of front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Red Cars Get the Most Speeding Tickets

Another commonly held belief by teen drivers, notes DriveTeam, is that owning a red car means you’re more likely to incur a speeding ticket. The theory behind this myth is that “arrest me red” vehicles more readily catch the eye of traffic cops.

In actuality, red cars are no more likely to get pulled over than any other colored vehicles. This may come as bad news to teens in black, blue or silver cars, but the best way to avoid getting pulled over is to obey the posted speed limit and be a safe, courteous driver.

Keep Your Hands at ’10 and 2′

Many parents of teen drivers were taught to pretend the steering wheel was like a big clock and to keep their hands at the “10 and 2” position. As Defensive Driving notes, this advice was more appropriate back in the day when fewer cars had airbags.

Now that most vehicles employ this important safety equipment, the “10 and 2” advice can be admonished, as the practice often leads to broken arms and other injuries during an accident. Teens who believe this myth most likely learned it from their folks, so gently advise them that current best practices call for keeping your hands at the “9 and 3” position.

Only Speeders Get in Accidents

Ah, if this was only the case. If it were true, our insurance rates would drop significantly, and we would all chug along at the speed limit, completely confident that we would never get in a wreck. Sadly, this myth is not true. Remind teens who are cavalier about speeding that driver error is the main cause of crashes — even when they’re traveling at 5 mph in a parking lot.

While it’s commendable teens are aware of the dangers of driving too fast, teach them that they must be vigilant at all times. This means paying close attention to their actions behind the wheel, as well as what other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are doing.

All New Drivers Get in Accidents

Hearing a new teen driver announce this myth will make any parent’s blood run cold. It’s almost as if they are daring the universe to make this untrue statement become reality. In actuality, there are plenty of young drivers who make it through their teen years without a single door ding, let alone a fender bender.

On the flip side, adult drivers who have perfect records could suddenly get rear ended in an intersection. Age is not the key here — other drivers’ bad actions and inattentiveness are much more likely to cause an accident.

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Summer Months: Higher Teen Death Rate

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 20, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

GuardrailIf you had to choose for your teen to drive through an icy winter storm or an 80-degree “not-a-cloud-in-the-sky” day, which would you prefer? If you’re like most, you’ll probably put your trust in the warm summer day as opposed to the blistery winter one.

Now, ask yourself the same question after reading the following statistic:

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer months of June, July, and August consistently have higher teenage crash deaths than any other month.

It would take a rare parent to send their teenager off for a drive during a winter storm without a few words of warning (if you were to even let them behind the wheel at all!) But do you allow yourself the same pause for reflection before your son hops in the car after summer practice to go to the beach with friends? Or when your daughter pulls out of the driveway on a warm July night to catch a movie?

Here’s to making summer 2015 the safest one yet. Some tips to help ensure your teen always comes back to you in one piece:

1. Buckle Up. Did you know? Compared to other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbelted. Set an example by always buckling up yourself — whether they’re in the car or not!

2. Limit passengers. I know, I know. Carpooling is all the rage and I’m all for protecting the environment, but make sure your teen knows there is a LIMIT to how many friends he or she may have in the car at any one time. Distracted driving is a real and all too serious thing, and the more friends in the car the more likely a distraction.

3. Speaking of distracted driving . . .think of investing in a nifty little product I happened upon recently called the Drop Stop. Drop Stop has made it their mission not only to catch all your small belongings that INEVITABLY fall in the gap between your seats, but to eliminate distracted driving in doing so. Your teen drops their phone, their jewelry, their credit card etc., while they’re driving. It falls between the gap. They look down, and down, and down, and… crash. With Drop Stop, they won’t have to look down, ever. If anything ever falls, they’ll know right where to find it, and it’ll be there safe and sound once they park.

4. Help your teen maintain their vehicle! Do they tires have enough tread? When was the last time they had an oil change? Does every light work and at what percentage are the breaks? Keep your teen safe by seeing to it these maintenance issues are up-to-date all while teaching your teen very adult responsibilities.

Summer inevitably means more teen drivers on the roads, many who have had minimal experience behind the road. Their lack of experience can lead to dubious decision making which can lead to every parent’s worst nightmare: A car collision.

What are some of your best tips for teen drivers, and parents of teen drivers? Share with me in the comments below, and remember: Drive safe this summer!

Takeaway tips:

• Discuss safe driving with your teen before they get a license.

• Be a role model. Don’t text and drive, even with your years of experience.

• Educate your teen. Sign them up for drivers-ed or online classes.

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How to Keep Teen Drivers Safe

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 03, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

TeenDriver55If you’re a parent with children old enough to drive, you’ve probably worried about their safety behind the wheel more than once. The fact that many teens are now using their smartphones while driving doesn’t help the situation, either.

And the scary truth is that drivers who text while operating a vehicle are 23 times more likely to become involved in a car accident. While this statistic may be unnerving to you as a parent, you have the power to influence how your teen drives. Lead by example as a safe driver, while also being vocal about your expectations of your children as they drive.

Unless you speak up, your child will be more prone to bad driving habits that can lead to an otherwise preventable accident.

Face the Cold, Hard Facts

According to driving-tests.org, motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death amongst teens. This means every time your teen gets in a car, they are at risk of becoming involved in an accident, caused either by themselves or by other teen drivers. If your teen didn’t know this simple fact already, share it with them to raise awareness of the general dangers they face on the road.

Remind them the months of July, August and September are among the most dangerous months to drive. Even just being aware of the potential dangers of driving can do much to prevent accidents. As your teens learn more about the risks of driving, they will feel a greater sense of responsibility as well.

No Do-Overs: Speak Up Now

On average, more than 75 percent of teen driver-related crashes are due to “critical errors,” including driving at unsafe speeds, distracted driving and lack of scanning. Teens are more susceptible to drive at high speeds and text. As a result, they are often unaware of important traffic signs and signals. These are among the reasons why more than 35 percent of the leading causes of death for 15- to 20-year-olds in the U.S. are car-related.

As a parent, it’s your duty to teach your teen about how they can be safer drivers. Encourage them to pay close attention to their mirrors and blind spots as they drive, put their phones on silent, and arrive home at a reasonable time. If they complain about having a curfew, remind them of the sobering fact that more than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Even beyond just the scope of driving, you will be teaching them a valuable life lesson: their actions not only affect themselves, but those around them.

Don’t be timid in openly communicating with your teen the expectations you have for them when they are behind the wheel. Have an honest and open conversation with them without the tone of lecturing and nagging. Express their safety is your highest priority and that they should have the same perspective when driving.

As you continually remind your children to be careful while driving, it will dawn on their minds that driving is not just a matter of fun, but also a matter of responsibility. While they may not become model drivers overnight, with consistent reminders from you and time to mature, your children will become safer, more responsible drivers on the streets.

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Teen Drivers Have Higher Death Rate During Summer Months

Posted by Sue Scheff on June 12, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens

TeenDriver5According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the summer months of June, July, and August consistently have higher teenage crash deaths than any other month.

Car crashes are still the number one killer of teens today – no matter what others (sales-reps) may share with you, making sure your child has safe driving habits is a priority.

As a parent of an at-risk teen, this is another added worry we simply didn’t need however must take extremely seriously.

Whether you are concerned about your child experimenting with drugs, alcohol, hanging with the wrong group of friends or addicted to their electronics and not socializing in real-life, if your teen is of driving age — teaching your child to operate a vehicle safely is not only critical to their life, but to the others on the road.

Seat belts:  Did you know that teens, compared to other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbelted. Set an example by always buckling up yourself — whether they’re in the car or not!

Distracted Driving  is still a major cause of crashes.  Many teens believe they are invincible.  They may watch their parent send a quick text, answer a call or even type an email while driving.  The excuse?  They are a more experienced driver.

It’s doesn’t fly!  Teenagers believe they are just as savvy with their cell phones as the parent – after all, they are probably more social media savvy online than they are.

Reality check> No one, at any age, especially with a teen or child in the car, should be driving and texting or using any gadget.  You are that role model for your future driver.

Scenario:  You drop lipstick, cell phone, debit card, or anything while you driving – and you are diligently trying to retrieve it.  This is distracted driving.  What people don’t understand is, distracted driving isn’t always about devices.

I recently discovered a nifty little product I happened upon called the Drop Stop.

DropStopDrop Stop has made it their mission not only to catch all your small belongings that INEVITABLY fall in the gap between your seats, but to eliminate distracted driving in doing so.

Your teen drops their phone, their jewelry, their credit card etc., while they’re driving. It falls between the gap. They look down, and down, and down, and… crash. With Drop Stop, they won’t have to look down, ever. If anything ever falls, they’ll know right where to find it, and it’ll be there safe and sound once they park.

If your teenager has their own car, or even for  the family cars, this cost-effective product could potentially save lives.

Remember parents, you are the number one influence on your teen. 

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