It's a dangerous habit, and more teen drivers are reportedly doing it. According to the American Psychological Association, new research presented at its annual convention suggests parents are playing a direct role in the bad driving habits their kids exhibit.
The survey, conducted by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions, focused on cell phone use while driving and involved in-person interviews of more than 400 teen drivers, ages 15 to 18.
The study found 86 percent of 11th and 12th graders used a cell phone to text or talk while driving. Researchers found one reason teens gave was they saw their parents doing it.
"We'll be at stoplights or maybe on the highway or whatever, and she'll just for a quick second, if her friend sends her a text, just look down," said Daevin Reaves of his mother.
The study also found more than half the teens surveyed were talking to their parents while driving, and some were even texting them. Those surveyed said they felt compelled to immediately respond to their parents.
"I don't want to get in trouble, putting mom on hold, and she ends up calling back and it's even worse," said Caleb Sanders, a soon-to-be-driving teen from Tampa.
Bottom line -- researchers said it's important for parents to demonstrate good driving habits and emphasize distracted driving is not acceptable behavior. Researchers also say parents should assure their teen drivers that it's all right to call back after they find a safe spot to pull over.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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