While it's understandable that parents want to keep tabs on the whereabouts of their teenage children, they may want to consider that they might be behind the wheel when they're talking to them.
A new study claims that teenagers are often times on their cell phones talking or texting with their parents while driving.
The report, recently presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention, surveyed more than 400 teen drivers, ages 15 to 18, from 31 states to gather data on their current texting and talking while driving habits.
The survey's results revealed that 37 percent of teens aged between 15- to 17 years with restricted drivers' licenses said they talked or texted with their parents while driving. That number jumped to 50 percent when it came to 18-year-olds with unrestricted licenses, who responded that they also spent time talking or texting with their parents while driving.
"Teens said parents expect to be able to reach them, that parents get mad if they don't answer their phone and they have to tell parents where they are," said Noelle LaVoie, PhD, a cognitive psychologist based in Petaluma, California.
She added that the research also discovered that many of the teens also claimed that their parents use cell phones while driving and that the feeling was that "everyone is doing it," according to the report.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the U.S. for all drivers. With regard to teenage drivers, distracted driving is now responsible for 11 percent of all fatal crashes, and of those, 21 percent involved cell phones.
"Parents need to understand that this is not safe and emphasize to their children that it's not normal or acceptable behavior," LaVoie concluded. "Ask the question, 'Are you driving?' If they are, tell them to call you back or to find a spot to pull over so they can talk."
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving causes 1.6 million accidents per year and texting while driving is now six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. They add that the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away from the road while texting is five seconds and that at 55 mph you would travel approximately 100 yards without watching the road.