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Teenagers and distracted driving

Some Connecticut parents may worry about the dangers of distracted driving as their teenagers learn to drive. However, they may not always consider that their behavior plays a role in how often a teenager uses a cellphone behind the wheel.

Many people may not be surprised to learn that teenagers are frequently distracted as they drive. According to USA Today, teenagers continue to text behind the wheel even though they find texting to be distracting. One study demonstrated that 79 percent of college students send text messages as they drive and 89 percent make phone calls. This can be dangerous for young drivers, as cellphones played a role in 21 percent of the fatal accidents that occurred in 2013.  

Parents may not realize that they sometimes cause their teenagers to be distracted on the road. In one study, teenagers said they frequently speak to their parents while they are driving. This is because some parents expect their teenagers to answer all phone calls from a parent. Additionally, parents who make phone calls and send text messages behind the wheel can unknowingly communicate to their teenagers that this kind of multitasking is acceptable. 

It is a good idea for parents to educate their children about distracted driving. The National PTA says that when parents drive, they should ask their teens to describe potential hazards on the road as they text. This can help demonstrate that teenagers are not able to multitask as efficiently as they think they can. Additionally, parents should usually refrain from calling their child if they know their son or daughter might be driving. If parents need to talk to their teenagers, they should encourage them to pull over to take the phone call.   

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