Residents of Fairfield County might be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Yet, simply because of our humanity, we often think that we are above the curve and it’s everyone else who shouldn’t text while driving. We will even use our cell phones while driving in front of our kids, only to tell them when they are going through driver’s education, “don’t do that.”

Unfortunately, like in so many other areas, parents’ actions speak louder than their words; parents’ driving habits have a primary influence on the teens’ driving skills. Therefore, when driving with teens as passengers, parents must be careful not to set a bad example, which may later be followed by their teenage children.

A recent countrywide survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions reveals that teens are very inclined to repeat their parents’ poor driving habits. Around 66 percent of teens believe that, as far as driving skills and awareness are concerned, parents do not set a good example for them and make risky decisions when driving. Common mistakes made by parents while driving with their teens include speeding, texting, driving without a fastened seatbelt and driving under the influence.

Even small and occasional mistakes committed unintentionally by parents when behind the wheel may be perceived differently by teens. For example, even reading a text at a stoplight could signal to a teen that it is fine to text and drive all of the time.

Teens are inexperienced drivers, and the safety of other drivers are at risk if parents’ poor driving habits inculcate teens. Parents should understand that the unsafe driving habits of their teens could prove to be dangerous not only for other motorists, but also for the teens themselves.

Parents should exhibit good driving behavior from the start so these new drivers can become safe and rule-abiding drivers, resulting in good role models for future generations. Even apart from setting a good example for children, parents should follow the rules of the road to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

If you were injured by a distracted driver, whether that driver was a teenager or a parent, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, property damage, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Learn more about car accident lawsuits by visiting our car accident page.

Source: Claims Journal, “Teens mirror parents’ distracted driving habits: Survey,” Sept. 20, 2012.

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