Distracted driving is often widely reported in the media these days, and can result in tragic accidents seriously injuring or even killing Missouri and Illinois residents. Driving while texting or talking on a cell phone can particularly be a problem for teens. Surprisingly, however, at least one study reveals that parents may actually play a larger role in teen drivers than previously believed. Not only can this be a danger to both the teen drivers and others on the road, it could also open the road for parents to be held legally liable in a car accident lawsuit.
According to a recent report, 53 percent of the teen drivers who were surveyed said that parents were typically the people distracting them with phone calls while the teens were on the road. Only 46 percent reported that phone calls with friends were responsible for their driving while distracted. The teens claimed that parents attempting to keep extremely close tabs on them — to the point that parents actually repeatedly call the teens until they get an answer — often requires them to take cell calls while driving.
This is a sobering statistic, considering the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving results in at least 11 percent of all fatal crashes involving teenagers behind the wheel. Out of those fatal crashes, 21 percent involved cell phones being used.
Additionally, well over a quarter-million teenagers must seek medical treatment in the wake of car accidents, with approximately 2,700 teens suffering fatal injuries. While many experts aren’t surprised by these tragic statistics, some have been startled to hear that parents play such a big role in teens engaging in distracted driving involving the use of cell phones.
Not only do parents apparently call their teens quite often when they know the teens are driving, but too many parents actually model extremely poor habits for their kids while driving themselves. Around 39 percent of surveyed adult drivers admitted that they made or accepted cell phone calls while behind the wheel, with at least 19 percent reporting that they texted while driving. These numbers are disturbing enough alone, but consider the fact that some people may not even be honest with others or themselves and these statistics could be just the tip of the iceberg on this problem.
An assistant professor of psychology at Missouri-based William Jewell College points out that many young drivers indulge in overconfidence when it comes to multitasking, mistakenly believing that they are much better at it than actually reality proves. To illustrate this fact, another study suggests that 89 percent of college students engage in cell phone calls while on the road and 79 percent of them text while driving.
One thing all the researchers agree on is that parents must not only discuss the importance of not using cell phones to talk or text while driving, they must also model these positive behaviors for their children. Kids often pattern their behavior on what they see and observe rather than what they are told. This makes it critical for parents to demonstrate the habits they wish teens to adopt.
Unfortunately, no matter what safety measures parents take, teen drivers do engage in distracted driving and serious car accidents can be the result. Whenever you or a loved one falls victim to this type of car crash, you may suffer serious personal injury or lose someone you love. If this is the case, personal injury and wrongful death laws in Missouri and Illinois provide you the chance to seek justice in a civil lawsuit. By calling my St. Louis personal injury law firm, toll-free, at 1-888-586-7041, you can learn more about your legal rights and the best steps to quickly preserve those rights. This can help ensure you have the best chance at winning the financial restitution to which you are entitled, and hold those who are negligent in causing your damages responsible for their actions.
Disclaimer: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.