Parents, Teens Often Text While Driving

LG-sponsored survey also reveals parents unaware of kids' texting habits.
A survey by handset maker LG Electronics found that 44% of parents have texted while driving, and 28% have done some form of sexting, or sending, receiving, or forwarding a text containing sexual content. The sexting figure was the highest percentage ever reported, according to LG's Text Ed Survey.

Among teens, 43% admitted to participating in some form of sexting, while 45% said they text while driving, the LG survey said. Only 4% of their parents believe their children text while driving.

The survey also revealed that 75% of parents of teens consider themselves "texters," and 86% have texted their children as a mode of communication. And 90% of the respondents said they felt closer to their teen as a result.

Very few said they believe their teens engage in harmful or inappropriate texting behaviors, LG said the survey results indicated. Yet, 53% of the parents, while indicating they are "very informed" about the impact of negative texting habits like sexting and texting while driving, continue to engage in these activities, the survey found.

"The 'do as I say, not as I do' approach to child-rearing doesn't cut it, especially with teenagers," Dr. Charles Sophy, a member of LG's Text Ed advisory council, a program that provides advice on mobile communications issues, and a child and family psychiatrist, said in a statement. "Kids are extremely observant. All it takes is one exception to the rule and they will latch onto it, thus negating much of your hard work."

When used properly and responsibly, texting is a powerful tool that can open the lines of communication and facilitate closer relationships between teens and their parents, he said.

Other findings included: 43% of teens admitted that they insulted someone in a text, while only 10% of their parents said they believed their teens had participated in the behavior; and 41% of teens acknowledged sending, receiving, or forwarding a text containing sexual content, while only 11% of their parents said they thought their teens had ever sexted, the LG survey said.

The LG Text Ed Survey was conducted online in the United States with 1,017 teenage participants, aged 13 to 17, and 1,049 parents of teens in the same age group.

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