Most Teens Learn Distracted Driving Behavior from Parents

fast%20car.jpgThe resent result of a new survey in the popular website for Consumer Reports has bad news for transportation safety agencies in Indiana as well as Indiana parents. The survey finds that many teenagers are learning risky driving practices, like cell phone use while driving from the role models in their own home. Most of the teenagers reported that they learn these practices from their parents.

The study was conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students against Destructive Decisions, a student group that aims to reduce the incidence of distracted driving and other poor driving practices among teenage drivers. According to the survey, which included approximately 1,700 students in the 11th to 12th grades, these teenagers often witnessed bad driving practices by their parents. What’s worse, the teenagers’ already impressionable young minds readily absorbed these practices.

According to the survey:
– 91% of the teenagers said that they had seen their parents talking on the cell phone while driving, and approximately 90% also reported that they used cell phones while driving.
– 88% of the teenagers said that they saw their parents driving at excessive speeds, and approximately 92% of the teens reported that they drove at excessive speeds too.
– Approximately 59% of the teens said that they saw their parents texting while driving, while approximately 70% of them also admitted to texting while driving.
– Approximately 47% of the teens said that they often saw their parents driving without a seatbelt, and 33% of them did so themselves.
– Approximately 20% of the teenagers said that they saw their parents driving under the influence of alcohol, and 15% of them drove while drunk.
– 7% of the teens said that they saw their parents driving under the influence of marijuana, and 16 % of the teens also drove under the influence of drugs.

If Indiana parents had any doubts about their influence on their children’s driving practices, then the results of this survey should eliminate all of those doubts. Parents need to set a much better example, especially when it comes to distracted driving.

It’s also important that they set examples in other areas of motorist safety. For instance, it’s shocking to see that 47% of the teenagers reported that they have seen their parents driving without a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is the most basic precaution that you can take to keep yourself safe in the event of an accident, and that nearly half of the teenagers in this particular survey reported that their parents did not buckle in, is simply staggering.

All parents reading this who are guilty of engaging in such destructive driving behaviors must take heed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently been promoting the concept of a “designated texter,” who would be responsible for texting for a driver in a car. Parents should promote this concept among their teenage children too.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Muller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy represent persons injured in auto accidents across Indiana.