There are few things more dangerous than a texting driver. Teens are even more dangerous when it comes to this than adults because they don’t have any experience on their side. When someone is texting and driving, they put your life, their life, and the lives of everyone on the road in danger. You need to have a plan for when this happens so that you can protect yourself. Hopefully that doesn’t mean losing a friend. Use some of the options below to help everyone be safe on the road and reduce your chances of issues with your friends.
Discuss it Up Front
Before you ever get in a vehicle with someone for the first time, let them know that you refuse to ride with anyone that uses their phone while driving. Explain that you have seen too many tragedies to become a statistic and make sure they are okay with that. If someone breaks your trust, be ready to never ride with them again.
Blame Your Parents
This option is particularly easy to do if you live in a small town. All you have to do is tell your friends that if your parents catch you in a car with someone who is texting and driving, you won’t be able to ride with them anymore. Small towns are notorious for being in everyone else’s business so this is an easy enough excuse to make,
Have a conversation with your friend before you even get in the car. Talk about the dangers of texting and driving and how you don’t want to subject yourself to them. Make sure your friends know how you feel about it and that there is a real danger behind it. You might even offer to answer their phone or drive yourself if they prefer to text. Ask them to use some common sense and make the right choice.
Request the Phone
If your friend is texting while driving and you are embarrassed to ask them to stop, just ask to see their phone. Make some excuse. Say you want to take selfies. Say you want to text your parents and your phone is dead. Say you want to play a game on their phone. Say you want to do anything that it takes to get the phone out of their hands and into yours. In fact, say that you want to call for a ride who will drive you where you need to go without putting your life in danger.
Make a Game of It
Texting and driving is a serious mistake, but your friend may not take it seriously. Get creative about it and challenge them to see how long they can go without texting. Turn this into a discussion of all the things you miss out on while texting, like what’s going on on the road in front of you. You might also mention things like body language and inflection.
In short, do whatever it takes to safely get your friend to stop texting and driving. You might fear that you are risking your friendship, but would you rather risk your lives and the lives of everyone on the road instead? There is no text that is so important it can’t wait until you are safely stopped. If your friend has any questions about that, have them consult one of the many police reports concerning deaths from texting and driving.
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