Parents these days are being scrutinized more when they are perceived to be helicopter parents. A helicopter parent is a parent who pays extreme attention to a child’s experiences and problems in order to solve his or her problems or difficulties. The accompanying imagery to the expression is that the parent hovers so close to the child, that at the first sign of trouble he, she or both of them swoop in to rescue the child. When it comes to texting teens while they are driving, a recent study has found that helicopter parents are the worst offenders at actually texting their teens while they know they are driving.
What People Think vs What People Do
The study, commissioned by the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Students Against Destructive Decisions, explored the differing attitudes between what people think and what people actually do when it comes to distracted driving. 96% of the people surveyed for example, acknowledge that using an app – taking selfies, using GPS, changing radio stations or tunes on a music device – while driving is distracting and potentially dangerous; yet 68% of the people surveyed admitted to using an app while driving.
Focus on Parents
Because the study was focused on teen drivers, the behaviors explored were the rules parents laid down for their driving teens and then what the parents actually did. The results raised eyebrows.
While 97% of the parents enforce texting and driving rules; 50% of the parents admit to texting their teen when they know their teens are driving. 29% of the parents who texted their teen while the teen was driving expected a response from the teen before the teen reached their destination – this was especially true if the parent that initiated the text was the mother.
Focus on Teens
Of course, the teens were quick to point out the hypocritical attitudes and practices of their parents. The teens surveyed contributed the following:
- 38% of teens said their parents texted while driving always, often, or sometimes.
- 20% of parents drove without a seatbelt.
- 11% of parents drove after drinking.
- 40% of parents did not stop their bad behavior when their teens asked them to.
Mom and Dad Have the Last Word
Despite the parents’ knowledge, the rules they enforce with their teens, the parents when challenged by their teen responded as follows:
- 58% said “I am a more experienced driver.”
- 35% said “I am the parent.”
- 7% said “This is important.”
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