Utah parents: Don’t call your kids while they’re driving!

A new study found that more than 50 percent of teenagers will answer a parent’s phone call when behind the wheel.

The day a teenager gets his or her license is generally equally as terrifying for the parents as it is thrilling for the new driver. These days, one of the biggest concerns among parents of teen drivers is the possibility that he or she will be involved in a distracted driving crash.

Teenagers are often physically connected to their cellphone during much of the day. Despite awareness campaigns about the likelihood of a serious distracted driving collision, many continue to talk or text on their phones while behind the wheel.

Surprisingly, a new study revealed that parents are often not helping the situation. According to a study discussed during the American Psychological Association's annual convention, teenagers often answer cellphone calls from their parents while they are on the road.

The study involved over 400 teens between the ages of 15 and 18 in the United States. The researchers found that 53 percent of those teenage drivers talked to their parents on their cellphone while driving. In addition, 16 percent of the 18-year-olds involved in the study admitted that they sent text messages to their parents while they were behind the wheel.

Teenagers reported that they felt the need to answer their phones because they did not want their parents to get upset. Compounding the problem, some teenagers also indicated that they had seen their parents on their cellphones while behind the wheel.

Distracted driving a problem across Utah

In Utah, novice drivers face stricter laws than other motorists in the state when it comes to distracted driving. Novice drivers are prohibited from using cellphones, even if they have hands-free capabilities, when they are driving.

In addition, all motorists - including novice drivers - are banned from texting while behind the wheel.

According to the zero fatalities campaign in Utah, auto accidents caused by distracted drivers led to 20 deaths in Utah in 2012. In all, over 4,665 distracted driving collisions took place in the state that year, with 125 people suffering serious injuries as a result.

Distracted drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents are often responsible for people suffering serious injuries. In such cases, those individuals often accumulate significant medical expenses as they recover from the crash. If you or someone you love has been involved in a distracted driving collision in Utah, you need to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney, who will work with you to recover the damages to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: distracted driving, teenagers, Utah