As part of our ongoing focus on the dangers of distracted driving in Florida, this is the first of two posts that will look at some ways that parents can help teenagers resist the temptation to text behind the wheel.
According to one surveys, 89 percent of teenagers reported that they always respond to a text message within five minutes - even if they are driving at the time. Given the ever-larger role that mobile phones are playing in younger social circles, parents need to recognize that teenagers are more likely than any other group to text while driving. Because teenagers also lack the driving experience and skills, they are at more risk of winding up in a fatal car accident than other drivers.
Parents can play a big role in helping teenagers avoid the dangers of texting and driving - these five tips can help.
1. Parents need to lead by example. One study found that 59 percent of teenage drivers reported seeing their parents text while driving. Since children spend a lot of time observing in the car with their parents, they have plenty of opportunities to pick up on dangerous habits. "Do as I say, not as I do" is not enough - parents should set a safer example.
Check back later this week for four more tips for talking teenagers out of texting.
Source: The Car Connection, "Teens Pick Up On Parents' Distracted Driving, Mirroring Behavior: Study," Suzanne Kane, Sep. 21, 2012