Parents Text and Drive, Will Their Teens?

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CASPER, Wyo. (KCWY) - Mastering driving includes many skills and the biggest is paying attention.

Teenagers may think they can text and drive, since their parents do it already.

Many teenagers use their smart phones every day. Texting is the most common form of communication teens use with their friends.

But when they learn to drive, how do we make sure they don't text while driving?

Parents' behavior while driving is essential as teenagers tend to learn driving habits from their parents.

Driver’s Ed Instructor Rosie Brown, “If their parents are texting and driving, they seen how successful their parents are being with it, because they assume, if my mom and dad can do this, I can do this as well."

Texting and driving increases the chance of accidents.

"Anything that a person does that’s distracting is a danger to anybody else on the road. It's a potential danger and we see it a lot anywhere, all over the world, people are distracted and it cause crashes. It's something that's totally avoidable,” said WYDOT’s Jeff Goetz.

Teen student drivers said they learned from their instructor, not to text and they will carry that lesson with them when they get be behind the wheel.

David Miller, student driver reported, "When I get my license, when I start driving, I’m definitely not going to text."

Another student Kyle Schanck shared, "Of course I wouldn't text in the first place, because so many people die because of it."

Driving instructor Brown said they do a simulated texting and driving exercise during their lessons to show teenagers how hard it is.

"Kids are so good at texting, some of them at 7 mph, think that they're successful out here, they want to be equipped to do it while driving 60- mph, which isn't the same."

Student drivers said they often see driver’s texting.

Goetz said the biggest advice he can give teenagers, is to be aware of their surroundings.

"Always pay attention to what's going on, don't fumbling around on something on the floor, pull over. If you want to text, pull over. Pull over on the side of the road. If you want to take phone call, pull over. These things are easily avoidable. And it seems to be like you should."

"Let’s all put the phone down, let’s all pay attention to our surroundings."

Remember, when you text and drive, you're not only endangering yourself, but other families on the road as well.