Distracted Drivers A Parent’s Problem
Teen drivers are considered to be high-risk and even more so when it comes to being a distracted driver. In new research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 122 Annual Convention, more than half of the teens involved in the study revealed that they talked on their cellphones with their parents while driving.
The researchers involved in the study interviewed over 400 teen drivers between the ages of 15 and 18. Teens blamed their parents for their distracted driving habits when it came to talking on the cellphone. The study found that teens expressed their concern for their parent’s requirement to be able to reach them at all times. Teens further expressed that their parents would get angry if they did not pick up the phone and tell them where they were, regardless of whether they were driving at the time. Over half of the participants in the survey revealed that they were on the phone with mom or dad while driving.
Parents Cause Teen Distracted Drivers
According to psychologist Noelle LaVoie, teen drivers expressed the following sentiment,
“Teens told us parents really expected to keep track of them, and they are expected to answer the phone if the parent calls. In some cases, the parent might continue to call until the teen answers,”
The findings of the research concluded that approximately 53% of teens who talked on the phone while driving did so with one of their parents while 46% of the respondents talked to a friend. The results were surprising to the researchers and revealed that if parents refrained from calling their teens while they were driving, it could help in reducing teen distracted driving.
Distracted Driver Message Not Getting Thru
Regardless of who teens are talking to, distracted driving continues to dominate the headlines and has become the number one reason for accidents. So why are teens and in this particular research study, their parents not getting the message that distracted driving can have severe and damaging consequences? The answer may lie in how society functions today in comparison to how things were different even 15 years ago.
The desire to know immediately governs today’s society. With help from technology, information is at our fingertips, including the whereabouts of our children. We have become a society that requires instant gratification and answers, including knowing where our children are at all times. How did we function before all this technology? We simply waited until our children came home to talk to them.
Distracted driving is a problem that won’t go away until everyone joins in to combat the number one cause of accidents and deaths on today’s roadways. As a parent it is important to remember that your child should focus on driving and not responding to texts or calls while operating a vehicle. Young Drivers of Canada teaches its students to drive through a collision avoidance approach with its exclusive Collisionfree! program. The program’s philosophy is that accidents are predictable and preventable and the consequences of an accident can be avoided. Students are put through situations that can be seen as high risk and are taught correction and better driving skills by their instructors, incorporating the Collisionfree! principles. Distracted driving can be corrected. The question however is, do we want to make the effort before its too late!