Make an impact with your teenage students with these helpful tips.
In 2019, nearly 40% of teenagers had texted or sent an email while driving at least once during the past month, according to the Teen Driver Source from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. Additionally, in 2020, 7% of drivers ages 15-20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to be distracted prior to the crash.
While these statistics can help make an impact on teens, numbers alone are usually not enough to create a thorough texting and driving prevention program. A multi-faceted approach to any educational program is more likely to succeed.
To help, our expert team has a few tried-and-true ways to help increase engagement and connect with program participants or students. Our tips for educators for connecting with teenage students in your texting and driving prevention programs include:
- Take note of your tone of voice when talking with students
- Incorporate real-life stories from their peers
- Use hands-on activities and teaching tools
Read on for more details on each of these helpful texting and driving prevention program tips!
Take note of your tone of voice when talking with students
Driving-age students will appreciate being spoken to like adults, not children, so using an effective tone of voice is an important part of any lesson. Avoid using a condescending tone, especially with older teens.
Try using an understanding tone to open the door for honest conversations and any questions they may have. Students are more likely to listen when they don’t feel like they are being judged or told what to do. While this topic can seem obvious to educators and other adults, students should be able to feel comfortable asking questions to fully understand why texting while driving has serious consequences.
Incorporate real-life stories from their peers
Anyone can tell a story about the dangers of texting and driving, but hearing about this serious topic from people you know brings it to a more personal level. Unfortunately, many people have experienced the dangers of texting and driving firsthand, whether as a driver, a passenger, or the victim of a crash caused by another driver.
Using stories from peers or other members of their community to illustrate that the dangers are not theoretical can help students better understand that the consequences of texting and driving are real and very prevalent.
Use hands-on activities and teaching tools
Keeping students engaged and interested in the lessons you’re sharing can be challenging, but unique and hands-on teaching tools can help!
Fatal Vision has a full lineup of great hands-on tools and activities for educators to use in their texting and driving prevention program, including our Drowsy & Distracted Driving Googles kits, the Change Blindness Distracted Driving Interactive Media Program, the Turn ‘N Learn Classroom Challenge, and one of our driving simulators, Roadster Pedal Kart or Simulated Impaired Driving Experience (SIDNE).
The Fatal Vision® Drowsy & Distracted Driving Goggles help participants understand the dangers of driving while distracted in combination with activities that illustrate how quickly distractions can affect what you are doing. We offer multiple kits to best fit your group and your needs.
The Change Blindness Distracted Driving Interactive Media Presentation is specifically designed to show drivers’ susceptibility to distraction and change blindness, defined as a perceptual phenomenon that happens when a change in the driving environment occurs, and the driver does not notice. For example, drivers may fail to notice that traffic has slowed around them while they’re distracted or looking at their phones.
The Turn ‘N Learn Classroom Challenge is an activity where students are divided into teams, taking turns spinning the game show-style wheel and answering questions. This fun and interactive activity makes a great addition to any texting and driving prevention program to help participants identify strategies for making safe decisions, learn important facts, and dispel myths about distracted and impaired diving.
The Roadster Pedal Kart and SIDNE Vehicle driving simulators, when used with the Drowsy & Distracted Driving Goggles, offer a safe way to illustrate the dangers of texting while driving and leave students with a lasting lesson. Learn more about our texting and driving simulators here.
It can be challenging to illustrate effectively to students how serious texting and driving is, but with these tips, you can craft a safe and effective texting and driving prevention program that fits your needs. For more tips and resources for your texting and driving prevention program, keep reading our blog!