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Parents keep setting a bad example for teen drivers

Laws will not stop teens from getting distracted while driving. They can cut back on it -- in theory, a teen who gets a citation for a dangerous driving behavior will refrain from doing it in the future -- but those teen drivers still have choices to make. They have to choose to be safe.

That starts at home, experts claim. Parents set examples that kids follow. Parents need that to be a good example, showing teens how to drive safely. If not, it puts everyone at risk.

Unfortunately, that's often what happens.

"Young kids have seen us exhibit bad behaviors," said a director at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. "No matter what we tell them about safe driving, how can they believe we're serious about it? We must become good examples. Teens get safe driving examples from many sources, but no one more than mom or dad."

However, the institute's own research showed that that did not happen. A few highlights include:

  • When fathers were asked if they engaged in two or more distracting behaviors, 75 percent of them said they did.
  • For parents of teenagers in general, the total came in at 69 percent.
  • When looking at those who made three such mistakes -- or more -- the total was still around 50 percent.

In short, the majority of parents set a bad example for their teen drivers. As a result, the teens take on these habits and even break the law. If this leads to an accident and you suffer injuries as a result, you may be able to seek financial compensation.

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