Teen Driving Safety Tips: What to Do When a Friend is Texting While Driving

Teen Driving Safety Tips: What to Do When a Friend is Texting While Driving

There are few things more dangerous than a texting driver. Teens are even more dangerous when it comes to this than adults because they don’t have any experience on their side. When someone is texting and driving, they put your life, their life, and the lives of everyone on the road in danger. You need to have a plan for when this happens so that you can protect yourself. Hopefully that doesn’t mean losing a friend. Use some of the options below to help everyone be safe on the road and reduce your chances of issues with your friends.

Discuss it Up Front

Before you ever get in a vehicle with someone for the first time, let them know that you refuse to ride with anyone that uses their phone while driving. Explain that you have seen too many tragedies to become a statistic and make sure they are okay with that. If someone breaks your trust, be ready to never ride with them again.

Blame Your Parents

This option is particularly easy to do if you live in a small town. All you have to do is tell your friends that if your parents catch you in a car with someone who is texting and driving, you won’t be able to ride with them anymore. Small towns are notorious for being in everyone else’s business so this is an easy enough excuse to make,

Ask Politely

Have a conversation with your friend before you even get in the car. Talk about the dangers of texting and driving and how you don’t want to subject yourself to them. Make sure your friends know how you feel about it and that there is a real danger behind it. You might even offer to answer their phone or drive yourself if they prefer to text. Ask them to use some common sense and make the right choice.

Request the Phone

If your friend is texting while driving and you are embarrassed to ask them to stop, just ask to see their phone. Make some excuse. Say you want to take selfies. Say you want to text your parents and your phone is dead. Say you want to play a game on their phone. Say you want to do anything that it takes to get the phone out of their hands and into yours. In fact, say that you want to call for a ride who will drive you where you need to go without putting your life in danger.

Make a Game of It

Texting and driving is a serious mistake, but your friend may not take it seriously. Get creative about it and challenge them to see how long they can go without texting. Turn this into a discussion of all the things you miss out on while texting, like what’s going on on the road in front of you. You might also mention things like body language and inflection.

In short, do whatever it takes to safely get your friend to stop texting and driving. You might fear that you are risking your friendship, but would you rather risk your lives and the lives of everyone on the road instead? There is no text that is so important it can’t wait until you are safely stopped. If your friend has any questions about that, have them consult one of the many police reports concerning deaths from texting and driving.


  1. says

    Thank you for the tips! My son just turned 16 and now has his license. I worry constantly. I especially like your tip about asking them for the phone. Anything can wait until they get to their destination.

  2. says

    Challenging a friend through a game is most recommended because teens are in an age where they think like everything is not yet as serious as life is.

  3. says

    I think the challenge would really help. It’s also important to be honest that you won’t be comfortable riding with someone who is texting while driving.

  4. says

    this is a really bad issue.. kids cannot take the phones out of their hands.. I would request the phone in this case and give it back when we stop.

  5. says

    I really like this post. I’m going to need this in here in a few months. This has become such a big problem. Even though it is illegal to talk and text on your phones or in my state anyways. I still see the police and other public figures doing it.

  6. says

    I would absolutely say something. That’s 100% not ok with me. Endangering themselves is bad enough, but endangering others is unacceptable.

  7. says

    Tell them not to, either they will listen or not, they’re risking their own life and who ever is in the car at that point. I tell it to my husband all the time, but he said, it’s a stupid rule.. so he’ll just learn the hard way..

  8. says

    These are great tips. I’ll never forget in college we were all in my friends car. She was texting and driving and one of our other friends just snatched the phone out of her hand.

  9. says

    These are really great tips! The “blame the parents” one is funny. I find that it’s really important to speak up if somebody is endangering your life.

  10. says

    Doing anything other than driving is a big no no! Scary to know that there are so many people that are still texting and driving. My son as a way to go before I have to worry about him texting and driving but when the times comes I will make it clear how important it is NOT to get in a car with anyone doing such things!

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