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As we covered in our blog post on how to stop texting and driving teens, it’s important to include some type of reward or incentive to help establish a safe driving habit. For teens that are new drivers, the first 6 months is key. If you wait until a bad habit is already formed, it will be much harder (and more expensive) to rewire.
The first iPhone was announced in 2007. So a new teen driver in 2017 would have been at least 6 years old at the time. This new generation has grown up with unprecedented access and dependence on smart phones. When it comes time to begin driving, they need to understand the priority of the tasks they need to perform. So to stop texting and driving teens, we really need to teach them how to focus on the road.
Teens and adults alike have had +10 years experience hearing a phone notification and responding to it. This has built up quite an established habit loop in all of us. Even for people who were already drivers when smart phones came along, the psychological response to a phone “ding” is unavoidable (even in the car). But, we can do something about that. It’s called the “mute” button.
And if you can’t remember or can’t get yourself into the habit of turning your phone on silent, that’s okay too. It’s actually quite understandable when you consider the psychology of what’s happening. Luckily, we’ve been studying the problem for years and have figured out a way to use that same psychology to establish a new, notification-free, driving habit.