Would you hand your teen driver a cell phone and tell him or her that it is okay to read emails or send text messages while driving? Absolutely not! However, your actions while driving may say otherwise and your children are watching right now.

How Big is the Problem?

A CNN report last year looked at the problem of parents driving while distracted. According to information provided by Common Sense Media, over half of the parents polled admitted that they check their cell phones while driving. Furthermore, a poll by Common Sense Media revealed that over half of the teens polled said they had seen their parents using or checking their cell phones while driving. Even more shocking is the results provided by the National Safety Council — 95 % of parents who admit to driving while distracted say they do this in front of their teenage children.

The CNN article provides more information and real-life accidents caused by parents who were distracted while driving. We encourage you to continue reading it here.

Do as I Say but Not as I Do

Does this really work with children? It is doubtful. Our children learn by our examples. When they see you driving while texting, talking on the phone, reading emails, grooming, eating, watching videos, or engaging with other passengers, your children learn that this behavior is acceptable. Regardless of whether your children are young or you have teenagers, what you do behind the wheel have a profound impact on how your children will drive when it is their turn behind the wheel.

You can model safe driving habits right now. Obey all traffic laws and put down all distractions to demonstrate how we should all drive to protect our loved ones and all others on the road. If every parent modeled safe driving behavior, the number of distracted driving accidents may begin to decrease instead of continuing to increase.

Distracted Driving Statistics

The statistics speak for themselves. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2015
  • 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2015
  • 660,000 drivers use their cell phones each day during daylight hours
  • Teen drivers are the largest group of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash

In addition to driving while using a cell phone, other types of distractions that cause accidents include:

  • Reading and writing
  • Watching videos
  • Eating and drinking
  • Grooming and changing clothes
  • Adjusting vehicle controls
  • Programming a GPS
  • Paying attention to things outside of the vehicle
  • Taking care of children
  • Engaging with passengers

Any activity that takes a driver’s attention from driving is a potentially deadly distraction. For more information about how you can avoid distracted driving, visit the Distracted Driving section of the AAA Exchange website.

Call a New Orleans Distracted Driving Attorney

If a distracted driver injures you, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional stress, physical pain, and other damages.

Source: “Driving While Distracted: Parents do it, too,” by Kelly Wallace, CNN, August 9, 2016