Chiropractic Neurologist, Dr. Lawrence Nelson talked about how to get teens to stop texting while they are driving. Click here for more information about Dr. Nelson.
1. Before turning on the ignition, take five breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose comfortably. Allow the letting go breaths to release any stress, anxiety, frustration and/or anger should there be any. This relaxes the body, puts the driver in the present moment. If you remain anxious, upset, or have had an upsetting event, do not get behind the wheel of a car until the high emotional state has calmed.
2. Turn off the phone. The addiction to electronic devices and the dopamine “high” people get from sending and receiving texts makes it difficult to control the use of these devices when driving. But it is essential for driver and passenger safety.
3. Limit distractions. Make it a habit to refrain from eating, drinking, and/or any other distractions. For navigation devices like google and GPS, have voice activated systems so the driver can keep eyes on the road.
4. Notice your attitude. It is easy to get into competition with other drivers, and to become angry and judgmental about other drivers. Practice kindness. Let others in when passing merging lanes.
5. Slow down. Driving slower alleviates anxiety and stress. For meetings and appointments, leave in plenty of time to factor in traffic jams so you are not running late.
6. A driver must be careful who they let into their car. Fewer passengers at one time is better and less distracting. If behavior gets distracting, a driver has the right and responsibility to pull over and either let the passenger out, or carefully communicate car rules.
Finally, there are Mindlfulness APPS for driving like ‘Streetwise’ to use before getting behind the wheel of a car. Parents can write contracts with their teenage drivers with car and driving rules that both parties must sign. If a rule is violated, consequences must be clearly stated and followed through. For brain health, avoiding auto crashes is preventative health care!