Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Parents’ calls distract teen drivers

Parents’ calls distract teen drivers


Parents unwittingly contribute to their children’s motor vehicle accidents. A half of all teenage drivers talk to their parents on the phone while driving, according to a recent survey1 in the US. “Teenagers say that their parents will be really annoyed if they don’t respond to their calls straight away”, says writer and researcher at The Parenting Place, John Cowan.

The study of 395 young drivers showed they were more likely to talk on their phones to their parents, as they drove, than to anyone else. They were more likely to text than call their friends but 16% said they texted their parents whilst driving as well. “It’s great that parents and teenagers want to stay in touch. Parents call their young people out of concern for their safety so it’s tragically ironic that these calls quite probably contribute to traffic accidents”, comments Cowan. “The other thing that should make parents gulp is that this research also included interviews with young drivers, and these kids said that because they saw their own parents use their phones as they drove, they really believed it was okay. As parents, the influence of our example is always going to be potent. If there is a disparity between what we do and what we say, it will be our actions that speak loudest.”

Young people could be genuinely excused for thinking ‘everyone is doing it’: even though it is illegal to use your mobile device while driving, a survey of over 37,000 New Zealand drivers2 carried out in June, 2013, 1.3% had a cell phone held up to their head and a further 2% were probably texting. But there is now no doubt that it is incredibly dangerous – American statistics3 now estimate 26% of all traffic accidents are caused by phone use – and young people are already far more likely to have crashes anyway. (New Zealand research shows that 15-19 year-old male drivers are nine times and female drivers seven times, more likely to crash than older drivers4.)

“As parents we need to be a bit more thoughtful”, advises Cowan. “Let’s not call our kids when they are probably driving. If we do call – or take a call from them – make your first statement, ‘Are you driving? Text when you’re not and I’ll call you back.’ And, as regards setting a good example, well... that’s the toughest part of parenting, isn’t it. It’s not just saying the right stuff it’s doing the right stuff. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ never works.”

1 “Is that Mom on the Phone? Teen Drivers and Distraction”. Presentation by Noelle LaVoie PhD to American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention, August 8, 2014

2 http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadsafetysurveys/cell-phone-use-by-drivers

3 http://www.nsc.org/Pages/NSC-releases-latest-injury-and-fatality-statistics-and-trends-.aspx

4 www.transport.govt.nz/research/TravelSurvey

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland