In recent years, use of cell phones by teenagers behind the wheel has taken center stage among driver safety concerns. A new study by the American Psychological Association (APA) reports that more than half of teenage drivers are taking these calls from their parents.
Most teenagers are aware of the dangers of cell phone use while driving, but many also fear the wrath of a parent who expects their calls to be answered. Several of the 413 teenagers who were interviewed or surveyed in the study explain that their parents insist on being able to reach them at all times, leading them to pick up their phones and respond. The study also reported that the participant's parents often use a phone as they drive, setting a bad example. Furthermore, past research has shown that because parents are seen as role models, teenagers who engage in poor driving behavior often learn these habits from their parents.
"Parents need to understand that this is not safe and emphasize to their children that it's not normal or acceptable behavior," says Noelle LaVoie, a cognitive psychologist. "Ask the question, ‘Are you driving?' If they are, tell them to call you back or to find a spot to pull over so they can talk." The study's goal is to raise awareness among parents about this issue and provide a dialogue between them and their children to reduce cell phone use while driving.
In 2013, a study by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions revealed that a whopping 86% of 11th and 12th graders use a cell phone while driving. Other research and statistics illustrate the dangers of cell phone use for drivers of all ages; for example, drivers talking on the phone are 4 times more likely to have a car accident compared to those who refrain.
The law firm of Edgar Snyder & Associates is committed to helping you make your teenager a safe, smart, and risk-free driver. If you would like more information about prepping your teen for the road, visit our page dedicated to tips for parents of teen drivers.
Even with increased awareness surrounding cell phone use while driving, many still make careless decisions that put lives at risk. If you or a loved one have been injured by a driver who was distracted by his or her phone, you may have a case.
Call our legal professionals today for a free legal consultation. We'll review the details of your case and outline the best course of action for you.