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Parents and distracted driving: Set a good example for your kids

We have written several posts about distracted driving lately. This is, in part because April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. But we also write about distracted driving frequently because it continues to be a major hazard on roads and highways throughout California.

Despite California’s laws against texting and handheld cellphone use, both of these behaviors remain common. And they are just two of the many of the distracted driving behaviors known to cause auto accidents.

Other distracted driving behaviors include:

  • Applying makeup or doing other personal grooming
  • Programming a GPS device
  • Picking up toys, food or other items dropped by children in the back seat
  • Eating or drinking
  • Changing the radio station or music in the CD player
  • Using your phone for features such as internet browsing or email

Have you engaged in any of these distracted driving behaviors? If you have children, have you done so with them in the car? Many parents don’t realize that they set the driving example their kids will likely follow – even if their kids are nowhere near old enough to drive.

In a recent study conducted in the Midwest, two-thirds of parents admitted that they have talked on their cellphones with their children in the car. Approximately 15 percent of parents said that they have texted while driving with child passengers. In all, about 90 percent of the 570 parents surveyed said that they have engaged in one of the distracted driving behaviors we mentioned above.

Kids are more perceptive than adults give them credit for. Even if you don’t think they notice what mom or dad does behind the wheel, it may influence their own safety choices in the not-too-distant future. Therefore, for the sake of your family’s safety right now and the future wellbeing of your children, please display the driving habits you’ll want your children to imitate.

Source: Michigan Live, “Study: 90 percent of parents admit to distracted driving with child on board,” Amy Biolchini, April 30, 2014

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