US study examines parents using phones while driving

News 14/05/2019

Millennial parents are the worst when it comes to distracted driving, a new study has found.

Researchers in the US surveyed hundreds of parents of different ages, asking them about their driving habits.

A majority of both Millennial parents (aged 22 to 37) and Gen-X and above (37 and up) admitted texting while driving in the previous month, which is illegal in most states of the US as well as New Zealand.

But Millennials were far more likely to admit engaging in more reckless behaviour, including writing emails, checking maps and scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Many young mums and dads even admitted using their phones to measure their driving speed, rather than their speedometer.

"Few parents said their paediatrician had talked to them about distracted driving and few used an app to restrict texting while driving," the Harvard Medical School researchers said in a statement.

"Both could be potential intervention strategies."

They admitted a flaw in the survey could be that older parents might have trouble recollecting their actions behind the wheel.

In New Zealand, the penalty for driving while using a phone is $80 and 20 demerit points.

The research was published Tuesday (NZ time) in journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Dan Satherley