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Are millennial parents the worst text-and-drivers?

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Parents of millennials are driving themselves to distraction, say US researchers, who found that parents who were aged 22- to 37-years-old were more likely to be on their phones while driving, compared with those aged 37 and over. The researchers said that the older-gen parents were still using their phones in the car, but the younger, apparently more tech-savvy, bunch were doing more reckless things such as writing emails, checking maps and playing on Facebook and Instagram. But the team adds their study may have some limitations - they suggest old fogeys above the age of 37 could be less able to use the internet to answer their survey!

Journal/conference: JAMA Pediatrics

Organisation/s: Harvard Medical School, USA

Media Release

From: JAMA

Patterns of Texting and Driving in a US National Survey of Millennial Parents vs Older Parents

Bottom Line: A distracted driving survey of millennial parents (ages 22 to 37) and older parents (37 and up) shows that most parents had read and written texts while driving in the past 30 days but millennial parents had higher survey scores that reflected more reckless driving behavior, including the use of email, social media and maps plus speed of travel. The survey included 435 parents from 45 states and survey scores were associated with crash rate. This study has limitations, including the potential for inaccurate recollections by parents and a possible bias for more technologically savvy parents because the survey was online. Few parents said their pediatrician had talked to them about distracted driving and few used an app to restrict texting while driving. Both could be potential intervention strategies.

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