24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
For Kids Born With HIV, Taking Needed Meds Gets Harder With Age: StudyBuilding a Better BackpackKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyExplaining, Easing the Horror of Mass Shootings for Your KidsFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsAnother Video Game Risk to Watch Out ForOlder Parents May Have Better Behaved KidsAre Too Many Kids Prescribed Antihistamines?Childhood Cancer Steals Over 11 Million Years of Healthy Life: StudyFamily Home, Football Field Most Dangerous Spots for Kids' Head InjuriesMost Airplanes Not Equipped With First Aid for KidsPlastics Chemicals Meant to Replace BPA May Not Be Any Safer for KidsWhat Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?Health Tip: Giving Medicine Safely to ChildrenHow to Make Your Child's Hospital Stay Safer, Less StressfulObesity May Boost Odds for MS in KidsHealth Tip: Diarrhea in KidsOpioid Epidemic Doubled Number of U.S. Kids Sent to Foster CareSwimming Lessons a Must for EveryoneHow to Help When Your Child Weighs Too MuchHave Kids, Buy More Produce?Zika's Damage Continues in Children Infected Before BirthCDC Warns of Start to 'Season' for Mysterious Paralyzing Illness in KidsParent Who Listens Can Help Kids Thrive Despite TraumaHealth Tip: Ear Piercing For KidsReacting Against a 'Too Clean' World, Some Parents Go Too Far the Other WaySurvey Urges Grandparents to Lock Down Their Meds When Kids VisitCalifornia Took on Anti-Vaxxers, and WonHow Does Sunshine During Pregnancy Affect Learning?Surgery Helps Babies Missing a Heart Chamber Survive, But Problems LingerAbuse, Injury More Likely When Child is With Male Caregiver: StudyHow to Foster Your Child's ImaginationLow Vitamin D at Birth Linked to Kids' High Blood Pressure RiskHow Do Kids Learn To Turn Off Troublesome Tics?Meet 'Huggable,' the Robot Bear Who's Helping Hospitalized KidsWill Video Games Make Your Kid Obese? Maybe NotChildhood Brain Tumor Survivors Face More StrugglesFDA Expands Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Approval to Children Ages 6 to 12New Drug Combats Leading Cause of DwarfismHow Do Birth Defects Affect Childhood Cancer Risk?FDA Approves Victoza Injection for Children 10 Years and OlderHealth Tip: Preparing Your Child For Sleepaway CampTips for Keeping Your Child Healthy at CampA Simple Way to Help Prevent Child ObesityType 1 Diabetes Might Affect Young Kids' Brain DevelopmentHow to Put Limits on Your Family's Screen TimeChickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, TooWhooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: StudyHundreds of Young Kids Drown in Pools Each Year -- Keep Yours SafeWhich Dogs Are More Likely to Bite Your Kids?
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

2 of 3 Parents Read Texts While Driving

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 13th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, May 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite countless public service messages warning against texting and driving, more than two-thirds of parents have read a text while behind the wheel and roughly half have written a text while driving, a new survey finds.

Millennial parents were more likely to report distracted driving behaviors, such as reading a text. But both millennial parents (born between 1981 and 1996) and older parents wrote text messages behind the wheel at about the same rate. The study survey also found no significant differences in crash rates between the older and younger parents.

"Texting and driving is prevalent among all age groups. And, the uptick in the motor vehicle accident rates is thought to be due, in part, to distracted driving like texting," said study senior author Dr. Regan Bergmark. She is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and an instructor in otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Millennials tend to be more comfortable with technology compared with older generations. As more and more millennials become parents, the researchers wondered if their tech-savvy ways might prompt millennial parents to pick up their phones while driving more than older parents do.

For the study, the researchers asked 435 American parents to complete a distracted driving survey. Half of the parents were women. Eight out of 10 parents surveyed were white.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed were millennials, average age 33. Forty-eight percent were older parents, average age 44. All had at least one child under the age of 14.

Parents were asked about the use of texts, emails, social media and maps while driving. They were also asked about how fast they were driving while performing these tasks. The more distracted driving behaviors parents said they did, the higher their likelihood of a crash.

Other findings included:

  • 52% of millennials versus 57% of older parents said it was never safe to text and drive.
  • 25% of millennials compared to 17% of older parents use an app or cellphone feature to reduce distracted driving.
  • 16% of millennial parents versus 10% of older parents reported one or more auto accidents in the past year.
  • Regardless of age, two-thirds of parents said they used their cellphones less when their child was in the car.

Fewer than one in four parents had been asked about texting and driving by the child's pediatrician, the study found. Slightly more millennial parents were asked about texting and driving.

And while safety was the researchers' paramount concern, Bergmark pointed out that parents are teaching a new generation that it's OK to text and drive. "It's important to recognize that kids are seeing what you're doing," she said.

Alex Epstein, director of transportation safety for the National Safety Council, was dismayed that so many parents were texting and driving.

"Why would you consider texting when you have that precious cargo onboard?" he said, adding that he agreed that parents are also teaching their kids to text and drive. "The moment they see you doing it, they'll end up modeling your behaviors."

Bergmark said it's also important to keep in mind that no matter how safe a driver you may be, because more and more people are driving distracted by phones or car displays, it's critical to make sure your eyes are on the road at all times.

"Two distracted drivers are more likely to cross paths now than in the past," she said.

In fact, the latest estimates from the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration say that nine people die every day from distracted driving.

Ideally, she said, people should turn their phones off while driving. But, she doesn't think that's likely to happen because people use their phones for directions and want to be reachable in an emergency.

So, what can be done?

"Phone apps can be helpful in limiting the unnecessary stuff. Turn off texting, and have an automatic response set that lets people know you're driving. We also need primary enforcement laws so that police can ticket just for cellphone use, and we need to be aggressive about that. Public service campaigns can help add to the stigma," Bergmark said.

Epstein added that there's "a tendency to believe it's the other guy's fault, but distraction is a national problem. There are lag times in your response any time your focus moves from the road to a device. There's no such thing as multitasking. We do one thing at a time well."

His advice? "Turn off electronic notifications when you're driving. People should just drive and stay fully engaged."

The findings were published as a letter in the May 13 online edition of JAMA Pediatrics.

More information

Learn more about distracted driving from the National Safety Council.