DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I AM THE MOTHER OF A TEEN AGE BOY. HE GOT HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE LAST YEAR. I LET HIM USE MY CAR ON WEEKENDS AND WHEN HE GOES ON A DATE. I JUST RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE THAT HE PROBABLY MEANT TO SEND TO HIS FRIENDS. I AM FAIRLY SURE HE WAS ON THE ROAD WHEN HE SENT IT. Worried Sick, Sacramento
Dear Worried Sick: You have reason to be concerned and as a responsible parent you must take action. Teenagers have a high accident rate than any other age group. In the U.S. in 2015, 2,333 teens ages 16–19 were killed and 235,845 were injured by a vehicle crash.
You could install an app that will shut off his phone when he drives. Here is a list of apps that Verizon posted, and most of them work on either an
If you prefer the carrot to the stick, there are also apps that reward drivers with points when the phone is put away. This may help you start that conversation with you son.