Your Kid Texts While Driving? Look in the Mirror

So it's our fault.  Did you know that teens talking on their cells while driving are most likely talking to. . . us?

A new study claims that parents are part of the problem.  Now, I have a few more years to go before my son starts driving.  And if his current behavior is any predictor, I won't have to worry.  He hates talking on the phone.  Especially to me.  (We won't get into "Whose voice is that??!" the one time he did pick up the phone.)

But the study found that more than half of teens talking on cellphones while driving were conversing with their mother or father.  And guess what?  They watch us do it, too.

Researchers interviewed or surveyed more than 400 teen drivers, ages 15 to 18, from 31 states to find out why they continue to talk and text behind the wheel, despite warnings about the serious hazards of distracted driving, according to

“Teens said parents expect to be able to reach them, that parents get mad if they don’t answer their phone and they have to tell parents where they are,” said Noelle LaVoie, PhD, a cognitive psychologist based in Petaluma, California. The teens also said that their parents use cellphones while driving and that “everyone is doing it,” according to the research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes among all drivers. For teens, it causes 11 percent of fatal crashes, and of those, 21 percent involved cellphones, according to a 2013 report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Here's another scary stat: 86 percent of 11th- and 12th-graders use a cellphone while driving, a significant increase from the results of a 2009 Pew survey that found that 43 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds talk on a cellphone while driving and 26 percent text while driving, according to a different study.

But at least they're not texting us.  



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