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.