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Talking to your teen driver about texting at the wheel

Earning your license and getting behind the wheel of a car is a sign of impending adulthood for many American teenagers. Many young adults look forward to the freedom that comes with driving. However, letting teenagers take the wheel can be a source of increased expense and anxiety for parents in Indiana.

Teen drivers cost more money to insure because they don't have the experience and skill that adult drivers have. They also run the risk of getting into serious crashes that can leave them injured and you partially liable for any injuries or damages they cause to others.

Even if your teenager has passed driver's training with flying colors, it is normal to worry about whether they will make good decisions at the wheel. Sitting down to talk with them about one of the biggest dangers, distracted driving, can help keep you and your teenager safer.

Just because everyone does it doesn't mean it's safe

According to research done by AAA, roughly half of teenage drivers will engage with their mobile phone while at the wheel. Whether they want to text a friend, check social media notifications or dial a number, the decision to take their hands and eyes off of the road could result in an unnecessary crash.

By acknowledging the fact that distracted driving is popular among teens, as well as older adults, you can have a more honest conversation with your youthful driver. Don't shy away from how common or how dangerous it is.

Provide solutions, not just restrictions

If you want to basically ensure that your teenager doesn't listen to you, forbid them to text while driving and then end the discussion on that note. All you will likely do is annoy your child and possibly give them an incentive to text while driving to prove a point to themselves or to you.

Instead of threatening punishment and getting aggressive with your teen driver, try to highlight the risk of looking down at their phone while they travel at high speeds. Explaining to them that pulling off to the side of the road or asking a friend to type a text is much safer provides them with an option to make the right choice instead of an ultimatum related to their ability to drive.

Even teen drivers who make all the right choices could get hurt because they cross paths with someone making questionable decisions at the wheel. If you or your child have suffered injuries in a crash caused by another driver, particularly if that driver was distracted at the time, you may have the right to take legal action against that person to recoup some of your losses. Deciding to talk about your rights with an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney is a good first step for your family after a crash.

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