One of the best ways to teach your child safe driving habits is to lead by example. Many parents, however, make the mistake of teaching their child that it is okay to drive while distracted by sending texts and making phone calls when behind the wheel. A new study shows some parents not only model poor behavior, but also are the cause of their child’s distraction.
According to a new study by Parallel Consulting, as reported in HealthDay, up to half of all teens talking on cellphones while driving are talking to their parents. This means that many parents are complicit in distracting their children. When your child calls you, or when you call your child, ask if he or she is behind the wheel. If your child is driving, simply call back later or have him or her pull over. Distracted driving is simply too dangerous, especially when the driver is young and inexperienced behind the wheel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,700 teens aged 16 to 19 are killed and about 280,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving results in about 11 percent of all fatal crashes among teenagers and cellphones contribute to approximately 21 percent of all distracted driving accidents.
How common is it for teen drivers to talk or text and drive? The Parallel Consulting study found that about only 43 percent of teens with learner’s permits do not use a phone, 29 percent of drivers aged 16 to 17 chose not to use a phone while driving and only 10 percent of 18-year-old drivers do not talk and drive.
In Georgia, cell phone use is not only dangerous, but also against the law. There is a ban on all cell phone use for bus drivers and for novice drivers. There is also a ban on texting for all drivers. Please remember to obey the law and to encourage safe driving habits. Distracted drivers cause accidents and they can be held accountable for the damages and injuries they cause. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer to explore your legal rights and options.