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

olleagues designed a survey based on in-person interviews with 13 teens aged 15 to 17 who had either learner's permits or driver's licenses. Every teen who acknowledged talking on the phone while driving said they talked to parents, while 20 percent said they talked to friends.

The researchers then interviewed or surveyed about 400 drivers aged 15 to 18 in 31 states. Teens with learner's permits were the least likely to talk and drive -- 43 percent of them didn't use a phone. When 16- to 17-year-olds were given an unrestricted license, just 29 percent chose not to use their phone while driving. By 18, that number dropped to only 10 percent who didn't talk and drive, according to the study.

Among these participants, more than one-third of the 15- to 17-year-olds and half of the 18-year-olds said they talked on the phone with a parent while driving, the survey found.

Teens were slightly more cautious about texting and driving. Almost two-thirds of teens with learner's permits didn't text while driving. By the time teens were 18 with an unrestricted license, that number dropped to just over one-quarter.

Teens were more likely to text friends than parents while driving. But, 16 percent of 18-year-old drivers had texted a parent while behind the wheel and 8 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds had done the same, according to the researchers.

Teens told the researchers that their parents expect to be able to reach them, and that they may get mad if they can't contact the teens.

"This is a very critical reminder of the importance parents play in making sure their teens are safe drivers," said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association in Washington, D.C., who wasn't involved in the research.

"The message here has to be to parents to stop driving distracted themselves and to set ground rules for teens that they should not be using the phone while driving," he added. "Teens follow what their parents d
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