Whether parents intend to or not, they are seen as role models. And, through their actions, they are continuously setting examples for their kids. As a result of what's known as learned behavior, kids mimic what their parents do. Unfortunately, the latest bad behavior involves distracted driving-an ever increasing problem across the U.S. that is causing a rise in car accidents.
According to the latest survey conducted at the beginning of 2012 by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), out of 1,700 eleventh and twelfth grade drivers surveyed across the nation, 66 percent revealed that their parents engage in unsafe driving habits while present with them in the vehicle.
According to the results of the survey:
- About 7 percent of teens reveal that their parents have driven under the influence of marijuana while behind the wheel.
- Approximately 20 percent revealed their parents drove under the influence of alcohol.
- Roughly 47 percent of teens say they have seen their parents drive without a seatbelt.
- About 59 percent of teens say they have seen their parents text while driving.
- Roughly 88 percent say their parents speed.
- Approximately 91 percent revealed that their parents talk on a cell phone while driving.
Unfortunately, the statistics also showed that teens seem to be following suit with their parents' bad driving habits. According to the survey:
- About 15 percent of teens say that they have driven under the influence of alcohol.
- Roughly 33 percent of teens say they have driven with no seatbelt.
- Approximately 90 percent say they answer calls while driving.
- About 94 percent reveal they drive over speed limit.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the distracted driving epidemic, it's important for parents to show safety driving behaviors.
"Your kids are always observing the decisions you make behind the wheel...Answering your phone once while driving, even if only for a few seconds, legitimizes the action for your children and they will, in turn, see that as acceptable behavior," said a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Hopefully, through continued public awareness, parents, teens and other drivers will understand the dangers involved with texting while driving.
Source: CLAIMS JOURNAL, Teen mirror parent's distracted driving habits: Survey, Sept. 20, 2012