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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      groingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      You can see where his eyes are, wishing he was a shoulder belt about now.
      gthomp7227
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't think a young guy checking out his hot young passenger is a new phenomenon.
        Jason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gthomp7227
        Yeah, I was thinking: if I had her in the passenger seat I'd be distracted too
      ilmhmtu
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe I grew up differently, but my parents always assumed that I was doing worse things than I actually was.
        Suzq044
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ilmhmtu
        Did they ever say ss much in public where they might be embarrassed by the fact? I know mine never did. Always make your kid look good.
      dollarbill
      • 1 Year Ago
      Um, I can understand why he is distracted ;-0
      songtzuyu
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkQdAic4SFk
      BillyM67
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see as many or more 20+ using phones as I do kids. People just cannot handle freedom when it comes to certain things, and it seems cellphones are one of them. Between the cellphone manufactures and the automobile manufactures this could be handled, but it won't be until enough people say something or enough people die....unfortunately, most likely the latter.
      nn_spotter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another one of these stories....greeeeaaaattt. Now my insurance will go up. In all honesty, this problem isn't going to fix itself. First off, it seems that there is a stigma about the manual transmission, namely - and I have heard my friends say it - "manual sounds too hard to drive." Yeah, well, whatever; there is a steep learning curve, but once you learn, they aren't any harder to drive than automatics. Furthermore, because you must use ALL FOUR of your limbs to drive one, it is very difficult to text and drive in traffic. If we automatically put kids into manuals and told them "this is all you get to drive until you can buy a car of your own," the problem would be much less severe. Driver training is horrible as well. In NC, to take drivers ed, you must be 14 1/2 years old, and to get your permit, you must be 15 and have completed all 30 hours of class and 6 hours of driving. Yeah, sounds daunting. Also, they don't actually teach you anything that would be essential to know to become a better driver. Sure, they tell you to use your turn signals and drive with both hands on the wheel, but when the instructor - and parents - drive with one hand draped over the top of the wheel and don't signal turns or lane changes, it suddenly seems much less crucial that you actually employ anything they said. One other thing that I want to point out is, in most states, there are either no laws against texting/talking on the phone while driving, or they are absurdly difficult to enforce. A couple years back, the state of NC finally passed a law banning texting while driving. In one year, no less than two drivers were ticketed for the offense, yet I see people with their phones in front of their faces every day. Part of the problem is that the law is very hard to enforce - the police cannot check phone records without a search warrant and therefore must go by what the driver said - and it seems that getting distracted drivers off the road isn't a big priority for the police. If we truly want to fix this problem, we need to only allow teens to drive manuals (unless physically incapable), teach them how to drive properly so they won't get bored behind the wheel, and take those that don't follow the rules off the road. But that makes a lot of sense, and sense doesn't seem to flow well among most people.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nn_spotter
        Excellent idea about manuals. Big problem: most of the inept parents have no idea how to drive manual, either. Just another example of how we have dumbed down US society to a pretty pathetic low level.
        Andrew B
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nn_spotter
        While this makes great sense, an idiot will always be an idiot. Put a kid who is determined on answering that text message in a MT or AT and it will make no difference. I'd be inclined to presume more accidents are distracted driving during highway driving. Once you're up in 5th/6th gear and cruising, you suddenly have limbs to use to text. Dumb kids will do this anyways, even in an MT equipped car.
      ksrcm
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Not only are teens engaging in these behaviors more than they know, teens are actually picking up these distracted driving behaviors from their parents," Impossible. How are you going to get distracted in a vehicle that a) shifts for itself b) has a power "assisted" steering that requires inhuman force of a pinky to turn lock-to-lock in the parking lot c) has lane departure warning d) has blind spot warning e) has cruise control f) has ACTIVE cruise control (braking and accelerating for you) that you can use at as low as 25 mph g) has thermal cameras to detect live objects and can brake for you if you are about to hit them h) has AWD so you can just do everything the same way in snow and never worry about ... what's "winter tire" anyway? i) has adaptive LED/Xenon light so you don't have to pay attention and lower them if there's oncoming traffic j) whatever I forgot to include ? Not possible in those conditions, I call BS on "driving distracted" and "children learning from their parents".
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Milwaukee, WY
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not one of those parents who assume my kids do no wrong. Quite the opposite. I'm the guy expecting to hear that my kid did something horrible and it's always a pleasant surprise to hear that they're well-behaved. That said, I won't spy on them - I think we have to trust our kids as we send them out into the world. If they're driving distracted (and they are) then we and they have to understand that there are consequences. I don't think the answer is to tell the kids they can't drive or use electronic countermeasures to spy on their every move. The best we can do is appeal to their sense of responsibility and make sure that they understand that use of a car requires trust.
        BillyM67
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Milwaukee, WY
        I trust my daughter, even though she rear ended someone six hours after getting her license, but trust also has to be earned, which is what the 'Find My iPhone' app is for....she always has her iPhone, so I always know where she is. :)
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Milwaukee, WY
        " I won't spy on them - I think we have to trust our kids as we send them out into the world."------------It's middle of the day, your kids are in school now, walk into their room and i guarantee you that you will hind something vibrating in your daughters room and magazines and most likely a weapon in your sons room. My parents always searched my room, and look how well i turned out.
          Milwaukee, WY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Oh, absolutely - anything under my roof is fair game. Trust but verify. But I'm not really comfortable with GPS based data collection on the car so I can track their every move. That's what I meant about spying. If my daughter is out somewhere she shouldn't be, the truth will eventually come out, and there goes her freedom.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well that's fairly obvious, although most of the people I have seen texting and driving were in their mid 20's.
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is why we need self driving cars or next best thing, adaptive cruise control. Think about it, the car accelerates and slows down by itself and all driver has to do is steer the wheel. If you do not switch lanes you basically do not have to do anything on the highway. We need to make sure that general population is saved from these spoiled little brats.
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Seal Rchin
        The one scary part of that is that once we have those kids will never learn to drive.
          Seal Rchin
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bernard
          Why? All they have to do is learn how to steer, the car accelerates.
        th0mb0ne
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Seal Rchin
        I think you're on the wrong website.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Seal Rchin
        [blocked]
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