Study: Parents may be partially to blame for teen driver distraction

A study recently found that parents may be partially to blame for the distracted driving problem amongst teenagers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death and serious personal injuries for teenagers in Illinois and throughout the rest of the country. However, teenagers are also more likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving activities, like texting and driving, than other age groups. In a recent study Forbes states that it was discovered that teens represented the largest portion of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal car accident. While many may believe that teenagers become distracted due to their own carelessness, a new study suggests that their parents may be partially to blame.

A dilemma for parents and their children

According to Today, this study found that over half of all teenagers who admitted that they had talked on their cellphone and driven at the same time were speaking with one of their parents. Many teenagers also reported that they had texted their parents as they operated a vehicle. According to the study, approximately 18 percent of all of the 18-year-olds said that they had texted their parents as they drove.

This creates a dilemma for both parents and their children. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 87.4 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 recognize that texting and driving poses a serious threat to their safety. Despite their recognition of these dangers, teens may continue to communicate with their parents because they are afraid of getting into trouble. In comparison, parents may not want their child to be talking to them as they drive, but still want to know where their child is and what they are doing at all times.

The lesson for parents

Parents can play a large role in helping their teenager create safe driving habits and potentially avoid getting into an injurious or fatal car accident. To accomplish this, parents should do the following:

  • Set a good example as they drive and refrain from texting or talking on their cellphone
  • Ask their teenager if they are driving when they call them and encourage them to pull over or call them back if they are
  • Have a conversation with their teenager about how they should handle cellphone use before they start driving

Unfortunately, even with diligent efforts on their parents' behalf, many teenagers choose to ignore the dangers of distraction and cause injurious and fatal accidents. If you were harmed in an accident caused by a distracted driver, consult with an attorney who can ensure your rights to proper compensation are protected.

Keywords: distracted driving, texting, accident, injury