GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)- When it comes to teaching teens to drive many instructors and parents have had to revamp their lessons to deal with all the added distractions.
Lisa Miller's daughter is just starting to learn the rules of the road.
Miller says, "I just tell her to be very, very careful. Make sure she knows that when she is driving, when she starts driving, cells phones are not allowed."
With so many distractions facing teens today, Miller knows that teaching her daughter to drive won't be as simple as taking her to an empty parking lot and showing her the gas and brakes.
Alison Leifert with Mesa County's Teaching Your Teen to Drive Program says a main lesson of the program is to educate teens on the risks of distracted driving. "There are more drivers on the road, and then number one all of the distractions, people are eating, texting, making calls, putting on makeup."
Leifert says distracted driving has become a leading cause of accidents for teen drivers and that one out of every five 16-year-olds will be in an accident.
It's things like "you hear that text message ring while you're driving you want to check and see what your friends wrote to you and respond as soon as possible."
But she says Ipods are a big problem too because they create even more of a distraction than turning on the radio. "Looking down at your Ipod and adjusting the songs these are all things that are taking away from us focusing on the road."
Driving classes encourage parents to talk to their teens about the many distractions and make a contract of what they won't do while driving.
Leifert explains, "Before i drive I'll pull over to use the cell phone. It then gives the consequences like the teens license is suspended for 3 weeks by the parent."
While Miller's daughter is only 14, she knows talking to her now about the dangers of distracted driving will lead her down the right road.
The County offers their Teaching Your Teen to Drive Class for free. Call Alison Leifert at 683-6624.