Raising teenagers is difficult, and it is not for the faint of heart. This is all new territory for parents, as their children grow up and start to explore the world on their own. As hard as teenagers can be for parents, we have to realize that it is a hard time for them too.

Teenagers are still developing, and they are trying to find who they are apart from their parents for the first time. They are trying to gain some independence, all while navigating school, work, and a social life. It can be hard, and part of that independence is learning how to drive.

It is a dream for a lot of teenagers to get behind the wheel and be off in the world. They get to go where they want and do not have to rely on anyone else to get them where they want to go. However, this can be a scary time for parents, who may be worried about their child’s safety behind the wheel. This means they have to have conversations with their children about distracted driving, and we have 10 things that they need to bring up.

RELATED: Tips For Helping Your Child With ADHD Drive Safely

10 Cell Phone

teen on phone while driving
Credit: Shutterstock

In the modern world, teenagers are always going to have their phones in their hands, and that may be why it is one of the most common reasons for distracted driving. It is important that parents talk to their teenagers about using their phones while driving, and that they know that nothing is as important as their safety when driving.

9 Who Is In The Car With Them?

teens on a car
Via Pexels

It is easy to assume that when our teenagers start driving, they are going to have friends who want to go along for a ride. Either they are going out together, or their friend doesn’t drive yet, there is often going to be someone in the passenger seat. According to Teen Driver Source, passengers can be a distraction for youth drivers, and it is important that your teen keeps their attention on the road when driving.

8 Music

teen changing music in car
Credit: Shutterstock

Most people like to listen to music when they are driving, and it can have some benefits in keeping people focused on the road, but it can be a distraction. If your teens are constantly playing with and changing the music while they are driving, their full attention will not be on the road. Remind them to pick a station, and stick with it while they are driving.

7 Makeup

teen putting lip gloss in car
Credit: Shutterstock

This one may only apply to teenage girls, but boys can be concerned about their appearance. When they are driving, they should not be applying makeup, fixing their hair, or doing anything that would cause them to take their attention off the road.

6 Cognitive Distraction

shadowed driver
Via: Pexels: MattHardy

According to Cannon Dunphy, 62% of distracted driving accidents are caused by something called “cognitive distraction.” This is when the driver gets lost in thought, and they do not pay attention to the road. This is most likely to happen if your teen is tired, or having a stressful day, so they should make sure they are in the right headspace before driving.

5 The World Around Them

teen sitting on phone car accident

While it is important to know what is going on around your vehicle, it can cause distracted driving. If there is an accident, paying too much attention to that can cause your child to be in an accident. While you want your child to be aware of what is going on around them, they should be taking stock, and then moving on.

4 Dropped Something

portrait of young man teenager in casual sitting in a driving seat of car
Credit: iStock

When your teenager is driving, they should not be reaching for anything. This means items in a purse or a phone that have fallen to the floor. These items are not as important as their life, and they can get them when they stop. If the item is important, your teen should know that they need to safely pull over, stop the vehicle and retrieve the item.


gps tracking
Via Pexels

Almost everyone uses GPS, and teenagers may use it more since they are new drivers, but it can prove to be a distraction. According to Bluefire Insurance, teens should know that they should set their GPS before they leave, and then they should not touch it again. If they need to, the same rule applies, that they need to pull over into a parking lot, safely park, and then fix it.

2 Driving With Pets

teen driving with pet
Credit: Shutterstock

If your teenager has a pet that they love, and that they want to bring with them, they should be mindful. While it can be fun to ride with your dog, it can be a distraction. It is important to talk to your teens about driving with a pet, and what they need to do to make sure they are safe.

1 Eating/Drinking

teen drinking water in car
Credit: Shutterstock

While everyone gets hungry and thirsty, these can cause distracted driving. While your teenager may not be able to go without drinking or eating, they should limit it when possible, and make sure that they are not letting it distract them from the road.

Sources: Teen Driver Source, Cannon Dunphy, Bluefire Insurance