October 1, 2011

Being a parent is tough. Being a parent of a teenager is even tougher. Among other things, parents have to worry about their kids learning to drive, all the while knowing the statistics: Motor vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for teens; thousands of teenagers die every year as either a driver or a passenger of a teen driver.

There is another statistic parents should know: 87 percent of teens have a parent involved when they learn to drive. Parents have a terrific opportunity, then, to influence their kids’ behavior behind the wheel.

But safe driving is more than checking your blind spot. It’s also about paying attention to what you’re doing.

A recent survey shows that parents may be telling their teens to do one thing while they do exactly the opposite: 53 percent of parents said they have been distracted by a cellphone or PDA or some other electronic device during a driving lesson with a teen. Their teens — at least, 61 percent of them — would say it happens more often.

Of course, being a good role model starts long before the kids get old enough to drive. In the same survey, conducted by State Farm Insurance Co., 54 percent of teens said they had seen a parent use an electronic device while driving. Not surprisingly, just 43 percent of parents admit to it.

Still, there are parents who make exceptions for themselves they would never make for their kids. We’ll give an example in our next post.

Source: USA Today, “Parents distracted while teaching kids to drive,” Larry Copeland, Oct. 17, 2011


Categories: Blog