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Study: Parents unaware of teens texting while driving

PHOENIX — A University of Michigan study said many teens are picking up their parents’ driving behaviors, for better or for worse.

The study of almost 6,000 teen drivers found those who think mom and dad are distracted drivers are more likely to do the same behind the wheel: eating while driving, texting behind the wheel, etc.

“If you’re telling the kids to not text and drive yet doing it yourself, you’re setting a horrific example for teen drivers,” said Stephanie Dembowski with AAA Arizona.

According to the study, 26 percent of teens read or send a text message at least once every time they drive; one in five teens admitted to having extended, multiple-message text conversations while driving.

Triple A has made several pushes for state lawmakers to green light a statewide ban.

“We’re well aware that a state law against texting while driving would not prevent all crashes,” said Dembowski. “It would certainly be a first step. We will continue to push for measures to keep drivers safe.”

Arizona doesn’t have a statewide law that bans texting while driving. Phoenix and Tucson are the only cities that have banned it.

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