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Distracted Driving: Teens, You Don’t Have to Drive Like Your Parents

By: Anapol Weiss

It’s sad that I need to implore teens not to drive like their moms and dads, but it is necessary. Parents are texting, Snapchatting, accessing Facebook, eating, applying makeup, and putting in contact lenses while driving with their most precious cargo: their children.

Over the past month, I have spoken with more than 2,000 teens across the country about distraction-free driving, including Connecticut, Florida, Colorado and Washington D.C. More than 80 percent of those students confirmed their parents drive distracted. Many of the students ask their parents to drive safer, but often parents give excuses such as,

“I’m an experienced driver, it’s OK,” or ,“I’ve had my license longer that you have been alive,” or, “It’s an important call,” or “It’s just a few seconds.”

Parents are pretty consistent in telling their children not to drive distracted, but unfortunately, they are not modeling safe driving for their children.

Last week, I spoke with 8th graders at Biddeford Middle School in Maine and was encouraged because many of the students are speaking up and asking moms and dads and older brothers and sisters who drive them not to drive distracted. We worked on improving their skills and building confidence that if they did speak up, they could change their driver’s behavior. Local press covered the talks.

Given that recent studies suggest distracted driving may be responsible for more than 50 percent of teen car crashes, parents should consider whether a do as I say, not as I do approach to teaching teens to be safe drivers makes sense.

Parents need to be the drivers they want their children to be.

For more than 30 years, Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Joel Feldman has successfully represented those who have been injured as well as loved ones of those killed as a result of negligence. The Anapol Weiss shareholder places a special emphasis on distracted driving-related truck and car crashes.