Parents could be causing distraction for teens behind the wheel - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Parents could be causing distraction for teens behind the wheel

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Could parents be part of the reason teens are distracted behind the wheel? New research says possibly.

It's natural to want to check in on your new teenage driver, but think twice before calling for a status report.

New research suggests those calls from parents are the biggest distraction for teens behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 21 percent of deadly crashes among teens involve cell phones.

You may think they're talking to their friends, but you could be wrong.

Out of 400 teens surveyed, more than one-third of the 15 to 17 year olds and half of the 18 year olds said they talked on the phone with a parent while driving. The survey found most teens feel pressure to answer when their parents call.

Jami Ruebel said she tries not to call her 16-year-old daughter when she knows she's behind the wheel, but sometimes that's all she can do to ease her worries.

"Yeah, my friends, their parents call them a lot whenever they're driving and they get distracted," Kilah Ruebel said.

"Try to use as much self restraint as possible," Jami Ruebel said. "It's really hard sometimes, but it can be done. And she usually has somebody in the car with her and I'll just contact that person instead of calling or texting her. And if I do call her and she's driving, she's, 'mom, I got to go,' so she's really good about that."

Ruebel said having a teen driver has made her more aware of her driving habits; and as a result she no longer uses her phone in the car.

Researchers say parents and teens should talk about these dangers and work out a solution that works for them.

Have teens pull over if they need to be on the phone, or send a text when they arrive somewhere.

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