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Parents increasingly distracted on Baton Rouge roads

Our cellphones have become small computers which we carry around in our pockets. With the advent of texting, Twitter and quick internet browsing, cellphones have allowed us to become more connected than ever. The problem is that the rampant use of cellphones while driving has caused countless car accident injuries and deaths as well.

Many parents are concerned that their teens will cause an accident while texting and driving, but a new survey indicates that increasing numbers of parents are also distracted behind the wheel, even while teaching their children how to drive.

The survey was done by the State Farm insurance company and indicated that over half of parents were distracted by cellphones while teaching their children how to drive. Although teens are very independent individuals, it is still important for parents to model responsible driving behaviors which can help their children avoid habits that make car accidents more likely. Drivers who are distracted from the road often do not have time to brake or otherwise avoid stopped cars or pedestrians.

"It is alarming," said State Farm's director of technology research. "There is a need to remind parents that they are the role models. Whether it's deliberate or not, we're showing these teens what's acceptable in the car."

Distracted driving is just one of many common contributing factors to area car accidents. Drivers who cause accidents while texting are often responsible for serious personal injuries or death. These drivers are often held criminally liable for their actions and may face personal injury lawsuits from those injured by their negligent driving habits.

Source: USA Today, "Parents distracted while teaching kids to drive," Larry Copeland, Oct. 17, 2011

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