Distracted Teen Driving May Be Parent’s Fault

It is now common knowledge that driving while texting or driving is the number one cause of motor vehicle accidents. There is not a parent of driving age teens who has not warned their teen to avoid texting or talking on cell phones while driving. Unfortunately, there seems to be many parents not following their own advice and that may be a good reason why the use of cellphone devices during driving remains on the rise.

Here’s another reason parent’s have to be guilty- a recent survey indicates that distracted teen driving may be partly Mom or Dad’s fault! Researchers at Parallel Consulting and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have found that over half of the teens gabbing on cellphones while driving are on the line with a parent. The surveyed teens said that parents get mad if they don’t pick up their calls and that their parents also drive while using the phone.

The attorneys at Grazian and Volpe have found our motor vehicle collision and accident caseload growing each year. We have also found that most car and truck accidents involve a party who was operating a cell phone and distracted from effectively observing traffic. Most of these cases involve adults traveling alone or sadly, with children. It was no surprise to read the results of this survey.

We suggest that parents refrain, as an example from using a cellphone when driving, period, but most importantly in the presence of children. Secondly, parents should also set rules for answering the phone while driving. Tell teens that it is appropriate and acceptable to respond to a call from their parents after they have reached their destination. If a long car trip is in progress, teens should be told to wait until a rest stop. Optimally, a teen should text a parent before setting upon a car trip to tell the parent they will be unreachable for a period of time. I tell my girls to let me know when they are starting on their way and the expected ETA. I try not to panic is they don’t call exactly on time and to give a bit of space. Of course, every parent knows that will not be always effective. However, setting an example and setting some rules will go a long way to keeping your child safe on the road.