Why are Teens Still Using Cell Phones While Driving?
Those simple words, “Mom, Dad – I passed my driving test!” can fill a parent with pride and anxiety. On the one hand, you are understandably proud of your child for achieving this milestone. On the other hand, you can’t believe that the person who can’t remember to make his bed or who seems surgically attached to her cell phone is going to get behind the wheel of a car.
It is no surprise that several studies have confirmed how dangerous it is for teenage drivers to text and drive or talk on a cell phone while driving. You know it is dangerous and your teen knows it is dangerous. Yet, it continues to happen and young people continue to be injured or killed in distracted driving accidents.
Recently, a survey conducted by Prince Market Research for Bridgestone Americas looked not at whether teens are driving while distracted – because we know they are – but rather at why teens are driving while distracted. The results of the study indicated that while more than half of teens identify distracted driving as a risky behavior, few believe that they are at risk. Many teens believe that they are safe drivers and that they can safely use their phones while driving. Some teens also believed that using a phone while driving is safe because they see their parents engaging in the behavior.
In other words, most teens were aware of the risks but engaged in the behavior anyway. Some did it because they saw their parents do it. This may mean that distracted driving awareness efforts are working, but that they are not enough. The next step is for teens, and their parents, to understand that the risks apply to them and that the dangers of distracted driving can be deadly.