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Teen driving: When a parent’s words and actions don’t match

The lessons and rules that parents provide their teens when it comes to driving can play a big role in steering their teens toward safe conduct behind the wheel. However, the effectiveness of such rules and lessons can be eroded when parents act in a way that is inconsistent with them.

So, it is important for parents to make sure their actions match their words when it comes to promoting safe driving for their teens. Unfortunately, parents sometimes stray from this. For example, a recent survey indicates that quite a few parents may be failing to do this when it comes to distracted driving.

In the survey, parents were asked various questions about their teens and distracted driving.

Their responses indicate that quite a few parents have rules against distracted driving for their kids. Of the surveyed parents, 87 percent indicated that, when it comes to their teens, they enforce rules on texting and driving.

However, the responses also indicate that a fair number of parents commit a type of conduct that could actually encourage their kid to text and drive. This conduct is sending a text to their teen at a time they know their teen is behind the wheel. Half of the surveyed parents said they have done this. And some of those parents indicated that a prompt response was expected to such a text.

Why do you think this type of inconsistency between words and actions is so common among parents? What impacts do you think such inconsistency has overall on teen driver safety? What other areas do you think U.S. parents need to work on when it comes to encouraging their teens to be safe on the roads?

As the actions of parents can have impacts on their teens, the actions of teens behind the wheel can have major impacts on others. For example, distracted driving by a teen could lead to others getting hurt. Individuals injured by distracted driving by a teen or other driver may want to have a discussion about the legal issues related to the accident with a personal injury lawyer.

Source: The Washington Post, “Helicopter parents might be creating hazards for teen drivers, survey finds. Turns out they can’t resist texting them.,” Frederick Kunkle, Sept. 30, 2016

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