Distracted driving is a big problem in Yakima and in the state of Washington. January is National Teen Driving Awareness Month and officials at US Cellular is passing along tips for teens and parents about how to stay safe while driving with a phone.

YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE DISTRACTED GET IN DEADLY CRASHES

US Cellular say nearly 1 in 10 drivers ages 15-20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted, the largest proportion for any age group.

Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images
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ESTABLISH YOUR OWN RULES OF THE ROAD

A simple yet effective step is to establish rules and expectations with your teen. US cellular’s Digital Family Matters website, https://newsroom.uscellular.com/digital-family-matters/ offers a free, customizable Parent-Child Agreement to help.

IT'S GREAT FOR FAMILIES HELPING YOUNG DRIVERS

Families can outline specifics relative to phone usage while driving - such as not texting and driving, keeping location apps active and other important details like curfews and nighttime driving limitations. Parents can even commit to abide by the expectations as well. These agreements can be downloaded, signed and shared - and edited as needed.

Distracted Drivers
Bob Riha Jr
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GET SITUATED BEFORE DRIVING

Mobile devices serve as a resource for music, driving directions and more. Before hitting the road, get connected to CarPlay or Bluetooth if able, then set the phone out of the way or use one of many mounting devices available on the market for Smartphones.

USE FOCUS MODE ON YOUR PHONE

Built-in phone features are available to help drivers stay focused. Driving Focus and Driving Mode can be utilized on iPhones and Android phones, respectively. This mode uses a “do not disturb” feature by limiting notifications, calls and texts when driving.

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TAKE ADVANTAGE OF APPS

A wide range of applications are available to help with location sharing, that can monitor driving speeds and phone usage, and even detect accidents. Life360 and Find My Family are two great options for download.
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