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7/29/2013 - Few concerned parents taking initiative to counter driver distraction fears

Distracted driving is still a major concern, especially among teenagers.

Parents well understand that distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents among teens. However, recent data suggests a mere fraction of moms and dads have gone to lengths in order to prevent their son or daughter from using a handheld device behind the wheel.

According to a survey conducted by Ford Motor Company, one of the top concerns parents have about their teen driving are the distractions that can prevent them from keeping their eyes on the road. When these same individuals were asked if they had taken any steps to reinforce safe driving behavior, though, only 26% said they had.

Steve Kenner, global director of Ford's Automotive Safety Office, noted that automakers are increasingly implementing standard feature technologies that prevent motorists from using a cellphone behind the wheel.

"Features such as MyKey … help parents and teens as they develop the skills needed to control a vehicle, detect hazards and assess driving situation," said Kenner.

In addition to keeping young motorists safe behind the wheel, these technologies may translate into lower auto insurance costs for parents, given that they help decrease the risk of being involved in an accident. Policyholders may want to discuss with their independent agents what steps they've taken to reduce driving-related distractions.

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