What You Can Do to Prevent Distracted Driving

What to know

  • Drivers, passengers, and parents can all play a role in preventing distracted driving.
  • Driving is a skill that requires the driver's full attention, so drivers should not multi-task.

Prevention steps and strategies

What drivers can do

  • Do not multi-task while driving. Whether it's adjusting your mirrors, selecting music, eating, making a phone call, or reading a text or email―do it before or after your trip, not during.
  • Use apps to help you avoid cell phone use while driving. Consider trying an app to reduce distractions while driving.

What passengers can do

  • Speak up if you are a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Ask the driver to focus on driving.
  • Reduce distractions for the driver by assisting with navigation or other tasks.

What parents can do1

  • Talk to your teen or young adult about the rules and responsibilities involved in driving. Share stories and statistics related to teen/young adult drivers and distracted driving.
    • Remind them driving is a skill that requires the driver's full attention.
    • Emphasize that texts and phone calls can wait until arriving at a destination.
  • Know your state's laws on distracted driving. Many states have novice driver provisions in their distracted driving laws. Talk with your teen about the consequences of distracted driving and make yourself and your teen aware of your state's penalties for talking or texting while driving.
  • Set consequences for distracted driving. Fill out CDC's Parent-Teen Driving Agreement together to begin a safe driving discussion and set your family's rules of the road. Your family's rules of the road can be stricter than your state's law.
  • Set an example by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while driving.
  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Teen Driving. Accessed 8 February 2022.