A new study led by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that about half of all parents talked on a cell phone while driving when their children between the ages of 4 and 10 were in the car over the past three months. The same study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, also found that about 1 in 3 parents read text messages while 1 in 7 used social media.
The study, led by Catherine McDonald, PhD, RN, FAAN, a senior fellow with CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention and an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Family and Community Health Department at Penn Nursing, was one of the first studies to demonstrate the different ways in which parents interact with their phones while driving. Not only does this put them at risk — about 1 in 4 car crashes are caused by distracted driving — but this behavior may send a bad message to the next generation of young drivers who are watching their parents from the backseat.
The alarming numbers received the attention of local and national media. In addition to the links below, more than 100 affiliate TV and radio stations around the country ran the story for their viewers and listeners.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com – Kids Are Witnessing Parents' Dangerous Driving Habits, and Phones Are Just the Start of It
- CBS3 Eyewitness News – Nearly 50 Percent of Parents Use Their Cellphones While Driving Kids, Study Says
- 6ABC Action News – Study: 50 Percent of Parents Use Cell Phones While Driving Kids
- WHYY – CHOP Study: Despite kids in Backseat, Parents Not Putting Down Their Phones
- Newsweek – Half of Parents in America Use Cellphones with Young Children in the Car
- Bloomberg – Even Parents Can’t Stop Texting Behind the Wheel
- The Daily Mail – Half of Parents Admit to Talking on the Phone while Driving Their Young Children around and 1 in 3 Read Their Texts, Shocking Study Reveals
- Fatherly – Most Parents Are on Their Phones while Driving with Kids in the Backseat