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Why parents need to be better role models for teen drivers

A new study suggests that many parents are setting a bad example for their kids about distracted driving.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” by the AAA. That’s because during those 100 days fatal vehicle accidents involving teen drivers skyrocket due to a combination of factors. According to the Chicago Tribune, while that news understandably alarms many parents, those same parents often make decisions that actually seem to encourage teenagers to drive dangerously, especially when it comes to distracted driving. Below is a look at why summer is so deadly for young drivers and at some of the ways parents can serve as better role models for their teenage sons and daughters.

Why summer is the deadliest

As WGEM News reports, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers and it is during summer when teens are most likely to be involved in an accident. In the past five years accidents involving teen drivers during the 100 days of summer have killed approximately 5,000 people. Summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers because they are out of school, are more likely to have passengers riding with them, and are more likely to be driving late at night. Increased use of drugs and alcohol during the summer months is also a factor.

Distracted driving a big problem

However, one major problem that deserves to be singled out is distracted driving. It is with distracted driving that many parents are setting particularly bad examples. A study conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Assurance found that 55 percent of parents use apps while driving and 62 percent of them talk on the phone while driving. In fact, one third of teens say they have had to ask their parents to put the phone away while behind the wheel. What’s worse, 50 percent of parents say they have texted their teenage children despite knowing their child was driving at the time and a third of parents even said they expected their child to respond to the text before they reached their destination.

Teenagers, of course, learn most of their driving behaviors from their parents, which is why it is so important for parents to not just tell their children how to drive safely but to do it themselves. That means that parents need to stop texting or driving, especially when their children are in the car with them. And just as importantly, parents should refrain from texting or calling their children when they know they are driving.

Personal injury law

With distracted driving so prevalent nowadays, it is no surprise that accidents are on the rise. Anybody who has been hurt in an accident should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as they can. That’s because an attorney can direct victims on the right steps to take following an accident, including how best to document the extent of their injuries and how to pursue any financial compensation they may be entitled to.