Picture for illustration purposes only.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – When it comes to setting the right example to our children, it is a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” for a significant minority of parents in the UAE.
According to the research conducted by INFINITI Middle East, nearly one third (29 percent) of parents admit to be being equally or more likely to break traffic laws with children in the car.
Despite this, 91 percent of parents recognise that children are likely to notice and end up mirroring the driving behaviour of adults around them. What’s more, it’s clear that parents understand the importance of road safety education, with nearly eight out of ten (78 percent) having discussed good driving behaviour with their children.
“The lessons we learn as children stay with us all of our lives, said Markus Leithe, Managing Director of INFINITI in the Middle East.
“It’s clear from this survey that, while parents understand the importance of setting a good example, there can be occasions when we fail to walk the talk,” Leithe said.
Worryingly, using a mobile phone while driving (48 percent) and speeding (38 percent) are identified by parents as the habits that children are most likely to mimic in later life. These factors rank first and second as the causes of road accidents globally, which make it all the more concerning that not wearing a seat-belt (51 percent) is identified as the behaviour most like to be copied.
Weighing in on the topic, Dr. Saliha Afridi, Clinical Psychologist and Managing Director of Lighthouse Arabia said, ‘Modeling is the most effective form of shaping children’s behaviour. We can tell our children to put on their seat belt or not to text and drive, but if we do those things ourselves we are not just giving them permission, but also encouragement to do the same. Children will do as we do, not as we say.’
However, “Eyes on You” survey also suggests that parents can be encouraged to change. Nearly 90 percent agree that being made more aware of the link between their own driving habits and their child’s future road safety would make them change their behaviour behind the wheel.
INFINITI’s ‘Eyes on You’ campaign is closely aligned with the Dubai traffic safety strategy to reduce road fatalities by 1.5 for 100,000 population by 2021. The survey involved 1,869 parents across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon.
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