Parents Set Poor Example for Teen Drivers

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, September 14, 2009

Parents Set Poor Example for Teen Drivers

Parents in the United States are setting a poor example behind the wheel for their teenaged children by talking and texting on cell phones and speeding.

Nearly 60 percent of 500 parents with teenage children questioned in an online survey admitted that they chatted on their cells while driving. Forty-two percent said they were guilty of speeding and 17 percent sent a text or email.

Another 40 percent listened to loud music while driving.

"Teens get safe driving examples and advice from many sources -- television ads, driving instructors, friends and family members, but no one more than Mom or Dad," Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, said in a statement.

"And if they grow up watching their Mom or Dad speed, talk on their cell phone, text and email, or pay more attention to what's on the radio than their driving, they are going to think it's okay to do the same thing."

Fathers were the worst culprits for setting a bad example behind the wheel in the poll commissioned by insurance group Liberty Mutual, with 75 percent admitting to at least two dangerous driving behaviors, compared to 63 percent of mothers.

Men were also less likely than women to discuss safe driving with their children.

Source: Reuters