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

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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