Your daughter just got her learner’s driving permit and she gets behind the wheel. You nervously sit in the front passenger seat hanging on tightly and guiding her as she navigates the car. She’s stopped at a stop light and you see her pick up her cell phone and start to text. You can’t believe it. You yell at her and tell her to never touch her cell phone while driving, even while stopped at a stop light. Then she turns to you and calmly says “but Mom, you do it all the time.” You’re stunned into silence because, unfortunately, she’s right.
As parents we know that our kids are watching us and that actions speak louder than words. But one area we might not think of is driving. Are our kids really watching us when we drive? They’re distracted themselves on their phones and iPads, but they still see what we do. If we use our cell phones and are distracted when driving or fail to buckle up, they’ll learn to do that too.
48% of kids report having seeing their parents talking on a cell phone while driving and 48% of kids age 12-17 have been in a car while the driver is texting. One in five drivers of all ages confess to surfing the web while driving. As parents, we may excuse this behavior by saying we only look at our cell phone at stoplights or we only quickly glance at text messages. But any interaction with a cell phone while driving is not only illegal in California, it is also distracting and can cause an accident. This isn’t being a good role model for our children.
Another important aspect of vehicle safety to model for children is wearing a seat belt. Research shows that parents who consistently wear their seat belts raise children who are more likely to buckle up. Being consistent is important. Model a family rule that everyone in the car fastens their seat belt before moving the car and that seat belts must always be worn no matter how short the drive. Accidents can occur even in a parking lot.
Distracted driving can ruin lives. If you or a family member are the unfortunate victim of a car accident, call us immediately to discuss your rights. The knowledgeable attorneys at Alexander Law Group have extensive experience litigating car accident cases and can help you determine who to sue and how to achieve the highest possible recovery. Call us now at 888.777.1776 for a free, private consultation to learn more.