5 Reasons Behind Teens Texting And Driving

Written by MomJunction
Last Updated on

Has your teen taken to the wheels yet? Is she learning to drive and is almost ready to hit the roads on her own? Are you worried about the potential road safety issues she could run into? Do you worry whether she may get in to the habit of texting and driving that is sadly, but commonly so prevalent in teens?

If you are worried about your teen’s driving safety, it is quite normal to have a genuine concern for your child. Read on to know how you can encourage your teen to learn safe driving practices, especially about the serious consequences of teens texting while driving.

Teen Texting And Driving – Dangerous & Shocking Statistics:

Before you try to tell your teen not to text while driving, try informing her about the statistics that show what texting while driving can lead up to. Here are some shocking statistics that talk about the dangers of using cell phone while driving: [1]

  • According to the reports of the National Safety Council, using a cell phone while driving causes about 1.6 million crashes a year.
  • Almost 330,000 car injuries each year happen when the driver is texting while driving.
  • In the United States, texting while driving leads to 1 in every 4 car crash accidents.
  • Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to result in an accident than even drunk driving.
  • The minimum amount of time it takes to get in an accident is 5 seconds of distraction. It is easily caused while texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by up to 23 times.
  • Almost 13% teens in the age group 18 to 20 who have been involved in any car crash have admitted that they were texting while driving.
  • Almost 34% teens admit that they regularly text while driving.
  • Almost 55% teens believe that it is easier to text while you are driving instead of speaking on the phone while you are driving.
  • While texting and driving, almost all teens spend about 10% of their total driving time driving outside their lane, which can pose a big risk.
  • At least 11 teens die each year due to accidents that happen as a result of texting and driving.

According to a news report, almost 41% teens who drive have admitted to texting regularly while driving.

[ Read: Teenage Addiction To Texting ]

Why Do Most Teens Engage In Texting And Driving?

While the statistics are a glaring reality, it is also true that more and more teens are engaging in texting while they drive. Your teen is otherwise a good kid and may be fully aware of the fact that it is risky, but still does it over and over again. You may have had the talk with your teen, but what could be the reason that she still does not understand the dangers? Here are a few reasons behind teens texting while driving:

1. Being Overly Confident As A Driver:

As a teen, your kid is still a ‘new’ driver. It means that she is learning, and even if she has almost got full control over the wheel, she does not have the experience. This can also be one of the reasons causing your teen texting while driving.

  • Your teen may not realize the dangers that she can potentially get into. With the driving license in hand, she is sure of being a smart driver on the roads. Of course she may know that accidents happen, but talk to her and you will she is sure it will never happen to her.
  • Also, if your teen has been involved in a minor car accident earlier and got injured, she may get scared, but not deterred.

2. Your Teen May Be In Denial:

Like many other children of this age, your teen too may think that unpleasant things happen only to others.

  • Your teen may be super sure of her capabilities and knows that absolutely nothing can happen to her. During the teen years, your child is under the impression that whatever you say or do does not always have to apply to her. She wants to listen to you yet not listen to you.
  • A growing sense of independence is also responsible for making her be in denial about harsh realities that can actually affect her.

[ Read: Teenage Drinking And Driving ]

3. Your Teen Thinks She Can Multi Task With Ease:

With a growing sense of nearing adulthood, your teen feels she can do a lot of things together at the same time.

  • Your teen regularly sees examples of multi-tasking in her own life as well as yours. For her, multi-tasking may be a normal way of life. It is this growing confidence in her abilities as a multi-tasker that she feels she can do it all, even while driving.
  • Your teen may be adept at handling different tasks at home at the same time. The problem with texting and driving is that both tasks need her equal concentration and there is a lot more at stake here. The multi-tasking she needs to do while texting and driving has no room for error, which your teen may not yet be able to comprehend.

[ Read: Tips For Parenting Teenagers ]

4. Impulse Controls That Are Still Not Fully Developed:

Your teen’s impulse controls are not fully developed yet. This is one of the main reasons behind teen texting and driving.

  • The part of her brain, known as the frontal lobe, helps her make correct judgements and decisions. Till the time your teen is at least 20 years of age, the frontal lobe will still be in a developing stage.
  • Due to the underdeveloped frontal lobe, your teen is prone to make rash and impulsive decisions without properly thinking through. It is difficult for your teen to stop something because her brain still does not help her to put the brakes on.

5. Your Teen Enjoys Taking Risks:

As a teen, your kid gets a lot of thrill and applause from peers for taking risks.

  • Driving rash or indulging in ‘known’ wrong behavior will always give your teen a high. One of the biggest reasons for this is peer pressure, where she may want to show off to her friends that she is not afraid of anything.
  • Your teen may genuinely feel that it is important to check her message while she is driving and text back, even though she is at risk. The multi-tasking personality, combined with the high of doing dangerous behavior and not able to make a correct judgement is recipe for disaster.

[ Read: Impact Of Peer Pressure On Teenagers ]

Hope you liked our post on teens texting while driving. As parent to a teen, you will have to find a middle ground to discuss all the safety issues with your child. Tell her directly about what happens, can happen and has happened when people mix texting with driving. Be strict if required and give her a warning. Do everything to make sure your champ understand the dangers of teens texting and driving. And most important of all, do not text and drive yourself, as your teen will pick it up from you.

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