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Distracted Teen Drivers Often on Cellphone With Parent: Study
Date:8/8/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Up to half of teens talking on cellphones while driving are speaking with their mother or father, according to new research.

"A lot of parents aren't really aware of how important it is to be a good role model and how dangerous it is for their teen to answer a cellphone while driving," said study author Noelle LaVoie, a cognitive psychologist and president of Parallel Consulting in Petaluma, Calif.

"There is certainly [prior research] showing that parents might not be modeling the best behavior for teens," she added, "and we know a lot of parents talk on the phone while driving. But this was a real shock."

The findings are scheduled to be presented Friday at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Research presented at scientific conferences typically has not been published or peer-reviewed and is considered preliminary.

About 2,700 teens aged 16 to 19 are killed each year and another 280,000 are treated and released from emergency departments after motor vehicle crashes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Distracted driving causes 11 percent of fatal crashes among teens, and 21 percent of those crashes involve cellphones, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, another recent study found that as many as 86 percent of 11th and 12th graders admit to using their cellphones while driving.

Teens have previously reported seeing their parents and others use their cellphones while driving, which makes it seem as if it's the social norm, according to the study authors.

To get a better idea of what parents' roles were in teen cellphone use while driving, LaVoie and her c
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