Having children must instill in parents a certain sense of naïveté (this is, after all, coming from someone without children). It must be incomprehensible that this tiny human, which you raised and sacrificed for, would be anything other than good, and right and just. They would never bully another child, or mouth off to a teacher. They'd never get caught smoking or cutting class, or smoking while cutting class. And they'd certainly, never, ever get distracted while driving. "Not my Jimmy/Susie!" they'll say.
That is, unfortunately, bunkum, according to a recently released study from Bridgestone, which found that parents generally underestimate their child's behavior when behind the wheel. Nearly 85 percent of teenagers admitted to getting distracted by their passengers, while only 59 percent of parents though their child would do such a thing.
In fact, Bridgestone quizzed 2,000 parents and their teens, and found that only 39 percent of parents think their kid would talk on the phone well driving, compared to half of all teens surveyed admitting to it. As for texting and driving, parents seem to think only a quarter of little Jimmies or Susies would ever take take their eyes off the road to send an "LOL." In reality, almost half of teens admitted to texting and driving. It gets worse, though.
"Not only are teens engaging in these behaviors more than they know, teens are actually picking up these distracted driving behaviors from their parents," according to Angela Patterson, the manager of the Teens Drive Smart Program at Bridgestone. The study is an interesting one, and can be read in its entirety over at the Teens Drive Smart Program's website. In the meantime, if you're in the car with your kids, just remember - they learn from you.