The old parental adage “Do as I say, not as I do” could cause your teen to suffer serious injuries or death in an accident. Two-thirds of teen drivers believe their parents live by different rules when it comes to distracted driving. While many parents condemn and warn against the dangers of distracted driving, they themselves do not follow their own advice or rules.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention away from focusing on the act of driving safely. Types of distractions include, texting, talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking, grooming or putting on makeup, reading and using navigation systems, or adjusting the radio. All distractions can endanger lives: the driver’s life, the passenger’s life, and even a bystander’s life. According to EndDD.org, teenagers whose parents drive distracted are three times more likely to drive distracted themselves.
Even though parents may consistently tell their teens to never text and drive, studies show that many adults text and drive behind the wheel themselves. In a study by Students Against Destructive Decisions, 91 percent of teens witnessed their parents talking on the phone while driving and 59 percent of teens witnessed their parents text while driving. In addition to distracted driving, 20 percent of teens witnessed their parents get behind the wheel after drinking.
Few parents realize the power of their own actions. Safe driving education does not begin when a teen is approaching the state-mandated driving age; rather driver education begins as soon as a child’s car seat is front-facing. Children are always watching and driving habits are influenced much more by what children see their parents actually do than what their parents are telling them to do.
Instead of “Do as I say, not as I do,” be an example while driving. Take the opportunity to live out safe driving habits and lead by example. It could protect or save your child’s life.
Has a distracted driver injured you? At Burnetti, P.A. we see the consequences distracted driving can cause every day. If you have been injured, you do not have to face the insurance company alone. Call (888) 444-8508 to see how our experienced and compassionate distracted driving accident attorneys may be able to help.