Distracted driving: Setting a bad example

By: NBC News Email
By: NBC News Email

Teens get a bad rap for their driving habits, but a new study suggests the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

In a new survey, 90 percent of parents admitted to using some sort of technology while their kids were in the car.

Researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed parents about ten common distractions while driving, including talking on the phone, using a GPS, applying makeup and feeding kids.

"We only had 46 parents out of the 575 who said they didn't do any of the distractions that we had listed," says Dr. Michelle May.

More than 70 percent said they had used a cell phone at least once in the past month while driving with their kids.

"If there's anything that is going on in the car while a parent is driving that is going to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road its really increasing the risk of crashes," Dr. May points out.

To decrease that risk many conscientious parents restrict access to their phones while carrying precious cargo.

"I try to keep my phone turned off before I even get in the car, and that way you don't even know if it goes off," says Cameron Cannon.

The study showed distractions were most common among affluent families.

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