Despite bans across the country, public safety campaigns, and a flurry of studies offering support, people still just don’t seem to accept the dangers of distracted driving. New research indicates that 48 percent of teens report texting while driving more often when alone in a car. Oddly, the relationship with their parents might be part of the problem.
Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions sponsored the study that surveyed 1,622 11th and 12th grade students in the US and 1,000 parents of teen drivers. Among the kids, 55 percent report texting and driving to communicate with their mom and dad, and an immediate reply to a message from them is considered the norm. Nineteen percent try to respond within a minute and 25 percent within five minutes. However, this rule doesn’t appear to go both ways because 58 percent of parents say they have no expectation of their child’s response time.
All of the blame for distracted teenage driving certainly can’t be laid at the feet of concerned moms and dads. A hubris likely born form a lack of experience is also an issue because 88 percent of kids consider themselves “safe” when using a smartphone app behind the wheel. 34 percent report checking his or her phone when a notification comes through.
This research largely echoes the findings of an AAA study from earlier this year; namely distracted driving is a major issue among teens. The previous research showed a lack of attention responsible for 58 percent of crashes among young people. Although, cell phones were actually the second leading cause of those diversions, and carrying passengers was even more dangerous to the youngsters.