Are Parents to Blame for Teens' Distracted Driving Habits?

Texting on the road - Dangerous iStock.com

Before parents scold their teens for talking on the phone while driving, they might want to consider their role in that dangerous action. Yes, no one should even consider using their phones behind the wheel, but surprisingly, parents may be a main reason teens are doing so. A new study suggests parents play a direct role in distracted driving.

With the huge amount of teens who are texting or using their phones while driving, researchers decided to survey drivers ages 15-18 to learn more about why this keeps happening. Interestingly, the results showed that teens fear their parents will get angry if they don't answer the phone, so they pick up no matter what — even if they're driving. According to the survey, more than 50 percent of teens talk on the phone with their parents while behind the wheel.

Since distracted driving is a major danger — and one of the leading causes for all car crashes — it's important for parents to set a good example. Noelle LoVoie, a cognitive psychologist from Petaluma, California, explains,

Parents need to understand that this is not safe and emphasize to their children that it's not normal or acceptable behavior.

Still, parents aren't the only ones at fault. Teens often text their friends behind the wheel, too.

Either way, remind your teens that no phone call is worth taking their attention away from the road. Distracted driving is an important topic to discuss... just don't start that conversation over the phone when they're behind the wheel!

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Did you know there's a health and well-being magazine for teens? Learn more about Choices, and share these stories about phones with your teens, including “RU 2 RUDE 2 B ONLINE?” and “Which one of them is a cyberbully?“!