1. Put it AWAY. It’s all about making a decision to put the phone in your trunk when you are driving.
The addiction we all seem to have is the instant gratification we get when we hear the ping is what we call ‘Classical Conditioning’ Ivan Pavlov had this one nailed back in 19.. when he decided to change his dogs behavior by using the ping of a bell to see with out food if the dog eventually would salivate. So basically we have become Pavlov’s dogs. We have a gut/brain reaction that sends a signal to our twitch muscles and we MUST check to see, who just texted me?
2. Silence is safe. So this experiment is to 1. Put the phone on Silent and see if you can discipline yourself to put the phone in your trunk while you drive tomorrow. See how that feels. Note how it feels. Just be curious about how it feels. If you were born before 1992, you have driven without a phone before, so I imagine you can do it again for another day. If it works well for you, then try it for day 2. (now, as a side note, and because I am writing this, on this (phone in the trunk day), also make it a sugar free day) by day 3 you will be so cranky, you may have to put the bottle of wine in the trunk too.
3. Designated Texter. Get one of your friends to be the designated texter who can read the messages and respond to them. You won’t miss a beat with your BFF manning the phone.
4. Rock your thumb socks off. Buy yourself a pair of anti-texting and driving thumb socks. Not only will these awesome socks prevent you from texting, they will keep your fingers warm in the winter.
5. Find an app. If you have a smart phone, get smart. There are many apps to help you quit texting and driving. The AT&T Drivemode app is free and lets you set up auto-replies that are sent to incoming texts, e-mails and calls.
6. Grow a Back Bone Parents
From the CTIA – The Wireless Association
Distractions caused by cell phones are especially dangerous for teen drivers because:
- Teens are the most inexperienced drivers of any group and
- They also fall into the group that is most likely to use a cell phone and, particularly, text message while driving.
For teen drivers, talking on a cell phone and texting while driving are high-risk activities that often last longer than other distractions, such as adjusting the radio or eating while operating a vehicle.
For most teens, texting is an important way to communicate. It takes restraint not to text while driving and this can be a difficult behavior to change. Rules set by parents will help reduce this threat.
Research tells us that all drivers’ first few months as an unsupervised driver are a particularly risky time – the most risky time for your teen driver.
That is why it’s important to set expectations up front with your teen about good driving behaviors you expect him or her to follow and clearly state the consequences if rules are broken.
And here is where the backbone in us parents comes in. When our teens get their drivers licenses, it is a privilege to be on the road. Ask to see your teens phone when they get home from where ever they have been, and check the time and frequency of texts on their phones. You will know if they have just been texting while driving. Set up and hold strong on the consequences.
Safe driving everyone. And remember police now are in plain clothes, operating as flag people on construction sites and sitting on busses watching as traffic rolls by with back up just ahead. It’s not worth being that connected.
What do you think? Send me some feedback and share this article with everyone you know who has a phone. So that’s everyone.
Linda Edgecombe, CSP
Follow me on Twitter and join me on Facebook!