Provided as a PUBLIC SERVICE to our readers, this is the second in a series of posts written by our youngest team member, Emma Lively. Like most teens, Emma has seen first-hand the dangers involved in inappropriate texting. More posts of this kind to follow.

Eleven teens die each day because of texting and driving.

If statistics like that aren’t going to scare them away from texting while behind the wheel, what will?

As a parent, you are probably very concerned with your child’s safety while they are driving. Since you cannot always  be in the car, what can be done to make sure eyes are on the road the whole time your teen is behind the wheel? There are actually many options, some more simple than others.

The most obvious, yet extreme, solution is to take the teen’s phone or car, or both. This is definitely the best way to ensure that there is no texting while driving, or ever. Although the safest option, it’s a huge adjustment to any family that’s accustomed to the convenience of having a teen driver and communication on smart phones.

But what if, “Please stop!” just doesn’t work? If your teen needs to drive to get themselves to school or practice, you can just take texting off their phone. That removes the danger, but makes it harder to communicate with your teen. Youth of the 21st century are geared around communicating through 160 characters. Texting, although a distraction and somewhat of an annoyance at times, is very useful. Short, simple instructions can be communicated quietly through the message board. Texts are much less of a disturbance than a phone call. If your family is always busy with work and school and a message needs to be sent as soon as possible, you can send a quick text that leaves a visual reminder.

There are a handful of apps that can prevent texting and driving, and notify you of what is going on, even where it’s happening.  Apps like Canary notify you when a text has been sent, how fast your young driver is traveling, where they are, and if they are on their phone, even the phone’s battery percentage.

Besides having an obedient teen driver, there is no foolproof way for families to handle this fatal distraction. The most effective ways of preventing texting and driving often cause great inconveniences and causes tension among families due to a lack of communication or transportation. Installing an app is simple and keeps the convenience of a student driver as well as the advantage of communicating through texting.

The dynamics of every family is different, but no one is safe on the road with a phone in hand.