Children imitate what they see. The same is true when it comes to driving habits. A new study showed up to half of all teens are talking to either their mother or father while driving. These same teens have also admitted to seeing their parents text or call someone while driving.
Why do teens answer the phone while driving?
Noelle LaVoie, the author of the study and a cognitive psychologist and president of Parallel Consulting in Petaluma, California, said that a lot of parents are still not aware of how important it is to be a good role model. Parents may also not be aware of how dangerous it is for their teen to answer the phone while driving. Some parents will call their child even though the parent knows their teen is still driving to their destination. When teens were asked why they answered the phone, it was because they were afraid their parents would get mad if they don’t answer the call.
Cell phone and crash statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, around 2,700 teens from ages 16 to 19 die due to motor vehicle crashes. Another 280,000 are treated and released from emergency facilities. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that distracted driving causes 11% of the total fatal crashes and cases involving the use of cell phones account for 21%.
Driving is a huge responsibility. It’s not just about making it to your destination on time. It’s also about protecting yourself, loved ones and others on the road. Parents play a major role. Our kids are more likely to be on their cell phones while driving if they see us doing it. As parents, it’s necessary to take the lead and educate our kids about the dangers of texting and driving. Without this, kids will start to think bad driving habits are okay and continue to do them.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I’m happy to hear that teens are becoming cautious about their driving habits. We hope that young drivers reading this blog will continue to fight against distracted driving. To my fellow parents, let’s always remember that our actions speak louder than our words. Kids wouldn’t see how important it is to stay away from driving distractions unless we show them we’re serious about it.