Teens May Be Distracted By Parents While Driving

closeup of car accident

Distracted Teens On The Road

From the moment a teen passes the driving test and the keys are placed in his hand, parents worry. For parents, safety is the number one concern once there is a driving teen in the home. Without a doubt, texting while driving is at the top of the list of concerns for most parents, and rightfully so. Research shows that as much as 71% of young adults readily admit to drafting and/or sending text messages while behind the wheel. Likewise, 78% openly admit to reading text messages while actively driving a car. These statistics are staggering for seasoned drivers, but the reality is there are times when parents are actually part of the problem. Contributing to this hazardous behavior, parents are often responsible for communicating with their teens by sending them text messages or calling them when they are fully aware that they are driving.

Parents May, Unknowingly, Be One Of The Biggest Distractions

Astonishingly, a resent study shows that as many as half of all teens engaged in cellphone conversations while driving are actually speaking to a parent or guardian. Researchers found that teens with learner’s permits were less likely to engage in cellphone use. Out of the 400 teens surveyed from 31 total states in the 15 to 17-year old age range, 43% said they never use a phone while driving. However, of those teens in the same age group that possess an unrestricted license, only 29% say they choose to put down the phone while driving. By the age of 18, that number dropped to an astounding 10%. This means that 90% of 18-year-old young adults admit to driving while using a cellphone.

An even more alarming fact surfaced in the same study. When researchers asked to whom those teens were speaking with, about one-third of the 15 to 17-year olds and approximately one-half of the 18-year olds admitted to talking with a parent or guardian while driving.

With regard to texting, the numbers were a little better. During the study, researchers found that most teens were less likely to engage in the act of texting while behind the wheel of a car. As many as two-thirds of teens with learner’s permits in the 15 – 17-year old age range choose not to text and drive. Of those that admitted to texting and driving, 8% say the are texting a parent or guardian. As for 18-year old drivers with an unrestricted license, only 25% say they abstain from texting while operating a motor vehicle. As many as 16% of those that admit to texting say their texts are to parents.

These results support other studies with similar findings. When asked about general cellphone use, 86% of 11th and 12th graders openly admit to distracted cellphone use while driving. And in a similar line of questioning, teens were asked why they choose to talk or text with parents while driving. The overwhelming response was that their parents expect to have open contact with them when out of the house, and most teens admit to using the cellphone in order to avoid punishment should parents not be able to reach them. Therefore, in an effort to know where their kids are at all times and keep them safe, parents may be, unknowingly, creating a hazardous situation by irrefutably causing their teens to pick up the phone while operating a car.

Distracted Teens Leads To Numerous Accidents

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, their 2013 report discloses surprising statistics on this subject. Virtually 3,000 teens are killed and an additional 280,000 are seen in emergency departments around the country for injuries experienced in motor vehicle accidents. Approximately 10% of those incidents are due to distracted drivers and 21% of those are accidents directly related to cellphone use. The numbers tell a very distinct story of overly distracted teens and the need to put the phones down when behind the wheel.

Experts strongly recommend that parents lay off on the need to hear from their children while they are driving. It’s important to reduce the occurrence of such incidents by giving their teens permission to wait until they arrive at their final destination before texting or making phone calls, even to the parent. Experts say encouraging teens and young adults to pull over to a safe location, out of the line of traffic, before engaging in cellphone use is the only way to avoid such tragic circumstances.

Lawyers Work To Aid Victims of Distracted Driver Accidents

Once an incident occurs, there may be the need for compensation by accident victims. If you believe your accident was caused by a distracted driver, let the lawyers at Zimmerman & Frachtman help you get the the compensation you deserve. Call or use our online contact information to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation today.

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