In my most recent blog entry, I encouraged you to avoid using your phone or anything else distracting while you’re behind the wheel. I’d like to tell you more this week about the importance of keeping your eyes on the road and off your phone.

It only takes a few seconds for a child to run into the street or for you to drive through a red light or stop sign and crash, potentially killing someone or yourself.

Remember these safety tips as you drive, and spread the message to your friends and family members:

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your final destination.

I’ll close with a stat that’s sure to grab the attention of every parent and grandparent: Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash in 2016. This age group has the largest percentage of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash.

Don’t follow the trends. When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Texting and driving isn’t a “cool” or trendy behavior—it’s a deadly activity that could kill you, a loved one, a friend or a stranger.