The US CDC tallies that every single day, more than 8 million and over 1,000 more are injured in the country due to accidents involving a distracted driver. What’s worse, it was found that drivers aged under 20 years old were associated with the most number of fatal crashes.
Given how many people are glued to their gadgets, the already serious problem of distracted driving is becoming even more severe. And it’s not just in the US. That was just an example of a worldwide concern regarding road safety.
This is worrying when your son or daughter is finally at the legal age to learn to drive. So how should you prevent or address the situation?
A good personal approach is through appreciative inquiry and you should start early, way before your child is already eligible for a license. Although appreciative inquiry is used more by companies and professional groups, it can certainly be applied within the family, as the family is the most basic organizational structure.
To shed more light on the method, appreciative inquiry is defined as a “cooperative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the world around them.” The main process is through asking questions and having conversations, which highlight a person’s positive attributes.
So how do you put it into practice?
The method is simple. For example, if your son likes cars as a child, most likely he will be delighted to drive his own vehicle.
What you can do about this is to talk to him regularly about his passion for cars and gently remind him about the risks of being distracted while driving. Hence, should an accident occur, the automobiles that he like would then be damaged and in some cases beyond repair.
Of course, talking about the value of life is also important, but since he is interested in cars, that would be a much advantageous initial angle of approach. You can start with cars and eventually go to life’s preciousness.
On the other hand, the same process can be done if your daughter loves smaller children, or pets and other animals, or life in general. Put simply, she is compassionate.
You can also have conversations with her when she’s old enough to drive, highlighting how she likes to take care of her baby brother for instance. Then slowly take it to matters about driving and the loss of life related to distracted-driving related accidents.
Note that this is a process and should be done regularly to get the best results. It’s also not meant to replace your own personal ways of guiding your children, but rather a complementary method. Appreciative Inquiry is best done with a group, so family dinners are also excellent opportunities for it.
Moreover, you should not stop with a personal approach. When your child is already driving, use technical tools in conjunction with guidance.
With rising demands and popularity of smartphones, it’s not surprising that your child can get addicted to the use of these gadgets. Telecomm label O2 shows that premium devices like the iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are rated at 4.3 and 4.4 out of 5, respectively, which is just one display of their popularity in the market. And in the first quarter of this year, smartphone sales increased even more by almost 4% according to tech research firm Gartner.
With all the updates from registering the device or online searches and additional apps entering the digital community each month enticing users, distractions from handheld devices are all the more present. You should counter it by using apps like LifeSaver to help prevent negative scenarios.
In other words, to help fight a problem caused by technology, you should also use technology, as it’s in the same ground with its opposition. LifeSaver works by combining a variety of features including locking the phone while driving and sending a notification to a loved one every time the phone is unlocked by the driver.
It can also allow the parent or guardian to set guidelines, monitor behaviour and be notified when the driver arrived at the destination safely. Furthermore, rewards like iTunes movies or tracks can be set up to award safe driving behaviour. This is another positive approach to address the concern of distracted driving.
The joint impact of these two methods will certainly aid greatly in teaching your child to drive safely. The positive approaches herein will allow for a much more open avenue of learning, and in turn makes it a win-win situation for everyone: parents, their young drivers, and other people on the road as well. Stay safe!
Exclusively written for Lifesaver App