Texting Behind the Wheel

Researchers hope the study will help curb distracted driving among parents with young children.

Two-thirds of parents with children younger than 14 reported that they had read texts while driving in the previous month, according to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. More than half also reported that they had written texts while driving, said the researchers, who published their results in JAMA Pediatrics.

“I think parents likely know the risks of distracted driving, as more than half of parents surveyed said they believe they are safer drivers when their kids are in the car and two-thirds said they use their phone less when they have their kids in the car,” says Regan Bergmark, MD, a sinus and endoscopic skull base surgeon at the Brigham, research faculty at the Center for Surgery and Public Health, and lead author on the study. “We believe there is an opportunity to change behavior by engaging with parents more directly through their children’s pediatrician about distracted driving and having apps or programs that people can commit to using.”