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Parents' examples lead the way with distracted driving

If you're a parent of a teenager, you know how hard it can be to get them to put down the cellphone. They're on it all the time, taking pictures, texting friends and going on social media.

At the same time, you know that it's a serious concern on the road. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenage drivers are the greatest risk when it comes to distracted driving. Other age groups also do it, but not as much.

What can you do to help?

It's simple: Lead by example. Put down your own phone. Show your teen that that type of behavior is not acceptable.

"Young kids have seen us [parents] exhibit bad behaviors," said one safety expert who studied the subject. "No matter what we tell them about safe driving, how can they believe we're serious about it? We must become good examples. Teens get safe driving examples from many sources, but no one more than mom or dad."

It is all too easy for adults to blame those other sources for a negative impact, as well. They say that teens did not get a good enough education in driver's training. They blame friends for also engaging in these dangerous behaviors. They point to movies and other types of pop culture.

These things may play a role, but parents have the biggest influence of all. They need to be aware of that.

Even if you do what you can to set a good example for your teen, you could get injured in an accident with another distracted driver. If you do, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.

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