5 apps distracting your teen driver (plus tips to block the noise)

teens distraWhile parents remember the biggest worries of their early driving days as parallel parking or determining the right of way, teens today face big distractions.

Along with knowing the rules of the road, there’s an additional pull for today’s teens to stay hyper-connected to their social circles at all times.

Recently, a Washington teen driver who rolled her car admitted she was texting, plus using FaceTime and Snapchat, all while driving. State Trooper Will Finn tweeted the news using the tag #HatTrick.

Parents may not even be aware of all the distractions competing for a teen’s attention. Here’s a breakdown of the top apps likely stealing your teen’s glances, and remedies for how to block them.

  1. Snapchat: The premise behind Snapchat is for friends to share one-time viewable photos or videos (with captions or text), with the "snap" then disappearing after 10 seconds. The instant, fleeting nature of the app trains teens to view updates just as quickly.

  2. Twitter: Short, 140-character tweets allow teens to share real-time updates of their days, no matter how small, plus interact with others’ trending tweets and tags.

  3. Facebook: Needs no introduction. Facebook has grown to where even parents need to learn how to fight the need to scroll and refresh for the latest updates. Tip: the posts will still be there when you’re not driving.

  4. YouTube: Videos are such a widespread social media tool that it’s scary to think drivers could be distracted for minutes at a time watching lengthy videos. We thought what happens in the 6 seconds before a teen driver crash was bad enough.

  5. Texts: The classic distracton. When text features were developed on cell phones, they became the reason why 61% of us (including you, parents) admit to texting behind the wheel.

Remedies:

  • Texting can be distractingTurn off the notification settings for social apps so that messages won't beg to be seen.

  • Try one of many app blockers on the market that disable texting and social media apps when driving more than 10 mph. They still allow for emergency calls.

  • If you know your teen is in driving mode, don’t add to the distraction by texting or calling. There’s enough distraction to manage without parents adding to the noise.

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