Hey, Mom and Dad. The next time you're in the car, take a look at that sweet, smiling face in your rearview mirror. Notice how those young, innocent eyes are soaking up every red light you run, every time you don't use a turn signal, every phone call you take, every text you send and every breath you take (every move you make)?

The police may not catch you, but the youngsters you're raising are taking notes. And when they make it to 16 (in some states, at least) they're going to drive just like you. At least so says a recent study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

And the study says it's not just the bad habits you practice every time you drive (turn signals are not for decoration, by the way). Send a text just once while behind the wheel and you've implicitly given your preteen permission to do the same.

"Your kids are always observing the decisions you make behind the wheel, and in fact have likely been doing so since they were big enough to see over the dashboard," Liberty Mutual driving safety expert Dave Melton said in a summary of the survey. "You may think you only occasionally read a text at a stop light or take the odd thirty-second phone call, but kids are seeing that in a different way. Answering your phone once while driving, even if only for a few seconds, legitimizes the action for your children and they will, in turn, see that as acceptable behavior."

So, parents, behave yourselves immediately, or so help us, we'll stop this car right here!


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  • 50 Comments
      rllama
      • 2 Years Ago
      YOU, allright? I learned it by watching YOU!!!
      Art
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am very much annoyed by drivers who don't use their turn signals and acknowledge what turn signals mean. It's basic driving courtesy people! It's inexcusable that cops do not use theirs to set an example.
      Tom Bryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      A recent study finds that the White House is white.
      Hunter Adams
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with this. Both my sister and I got our road rage from our dad.
      homeimps
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is one of the shortest but well-written articles I've read in a long time. I recently called a tenant's cellphone as she owed me rent and after a few sentences, realized that she was driving at the time. When I asked if she was using a hands-free device, she said, "No, but it's OK because it's dark so 'they' can't see me". I immediately told her I was hanging up and she would need to call me later. When she called me back, I explained that not long before that, a good friend of mine had been killed by a woman using a cellphone who ran a stop sign. I still wonder if she continues to do that, and BTW, she has 3 young sons who are probably learning this from her. Nowadays, I no longer even talk with people who are driving, whether or not they have hands-free; I don't ever want to have been on the phone with someone while they are involved in an accident, especially if it resulted in someone's death!
      samagon0
      • 2 Years Ago
      This took a study? My sister takes after my dad and drives 5 under the limit, I take after my mom and drive 5 over and smile in the corners.
      clquake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not in my family, I drive 180 degrees completely different than my parents.
        WillieD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @clquake
        Same here. I definitely don't take after my parents when it comes to driving. I use my turn signals more often, pay more attention, etc. Though my parents have a pretty good track record (mom's never been at fault in an accident, and I don't believe my dad has, either).
        kekeraz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @clquake
        It means you understand what you are doing. Unfortunately, not everyone.
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did we really need a study for this?! Isn't this common knowledge?
      Mate
      • 2 Years Ago
      The whole driver training issue needs a shake up here. We need to re-train the trainers and re-train the examiner from the top down. We need to teach a student how to drive, not how to simply pass an on road test. (A test that is quite pathetic in my stat, I could teach a gorilla to pass it in time.) Just a little planning and the thought that we are not the only person on the road would make for better driving.
      g999s
      • 2 Years Ago
      The fact is that CHILDREN are GIVEN a licence without proper training. They think that it is their rite to drive a car.Make them LEARN to drive, just as they do in many other countries.
      Mallard
      • 2 Years Ago
      I learned it from watching you!
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have two things to say about this- 1) Duh 2) Good. I don't tailgate. I get over if there's a car parked on the roadside. I always signal. I always stay right except to pass. I don't talk on the phone or text and drive. I don't eat and drive. I don't cross the lines. I always check my mirrors. And I know they've already got my reflexes that put a cat to shame.
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