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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Teens, Texting and Driving:
A Dangerous Mix

Drivers using cell phones to send text messages are six times more likely to crash than those concentrating only on driving, according to a study in the journal Human Factors. Using a virtual driving simulator to analyze driving performance, researchers found texting drivers had less control over their vehicles.

KNOW THE RISKS
Texting requires drivers to completely switch attention away from driving. Although texting seems more dangerous than just talking, both are risky behavior. In fact, research shows talking on a cell phone while driving quadruples the chances of an accident.

While younger drivers are more likely than older ones to text behind the wheel, drivers of all ages are guilty of distracted driving. Inattention causes more than 1 million accidents yearly in North America.

Text messaging while driving is now banned for all drivers in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Another eight states ban texting for younger or novice drivers.

SAFE DRIVING TIPS FOR YOUR TEEN - AND YOURSELF
Talk openly with your kids about the serious risks involved with using a cell phone while driving. Set a good example by discussing and following these driver-safety practices:

  • Turn your cell phone off before you drive to avoid temptation.
  • Check with your phone service provider and its app store. There may be an app you can download that prohibits sending and receiving texts when a car is in motion.
  • Adjust seats, climate control, and sound and navigation systems prior to departure.
  • Pull off the road, away from traffic, to use a cell phone to talk, text or surf the Internet.
  • Park to eat or drink.
  • Set an example. If your kids see you buckling up every time and not texting while driving, they are more likely to do the same.
  • Make consequences. If you catch your teen texting while driving, take away his or her driving privileges. Setting those ground rules will make them less likely to do it.

For more details on California’s texting laws, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/cellularphonelaws/index.htm.

CHOC CHILDREN'S PUBLICATIONS
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