A new study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Toyota has revealed that parents have a significant role in whether or not their teen drivers will text and drive. Additionally, the research indicates that teens text more often than most parents are probably aware of.
The study consisted of having researchers survey about 2,600 teen drivers and 3,000 parents of teens. Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center provided funding for the study in order to reveal potential driving risks and devise recommendations to combat these risks.
The head of the study indicated that a significant reason why parents play such a pivotal role in the driving habits of their teens is because they serve as a concrete example when they drive. Teens are likely to emulate the behavior that they see in adults in their lives.
The study indicated that parents who talked on cell phones, ate, or drank when they were driving were more likely to have teen drivers in the household who would partake in the same behaviors. In some instances, teens would partake in certain behaviors simply because they thought their parents acted in a certain way, even if, in reality, they did not.
While teens tended to overestimate the amount of distracted driving that their parents were involved in, the parents tended to underestimate the quantity of text messages that their teen drivers sent while driving. According to the data, 26 percent of teens who had a smartphone admitted to reading or sending a text message every time that they got behind the wheel.
Parents can take a few steps to keep their children safer.
- Be a good example by avoiding texting while driving.
- Refrain from calling or texting teens while they are probably driving.
- Become familiar with state laws regarding texting while driving and discuss these laws as a family. Establish family rules barring this behavior.
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If you are injured in a car accident involving a teen driver who is texting and driving, a Tampa accident lawyer may be able to assist you with the case. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-813-324-5202 for a free case evaluation and initial consultation.