Distracted Driving Foes Blast Reality Star’s Video
Keeping Up With the Kardashians co-star Kendall Jenner is setting a bad example for young drivers by posting an online video of herself driving in heavy traffic while dancing, according to news accounts.
In an article appearing on FoxNews.com, Danielle Jones-Wesley quotes Mike Kellenyi, president of People Against Distracted Driving, who calls the 18-year-old’s driving “every parent[‘]s nightmare.” FoxNews.com reports that Kellenyi, whose daughter, Nikki, was killed in a crash resulting from a texting driver, said, “Death by distraction is real, and no star of her family should set an example that will likely kill people!”
As Distraction.gov writes, distracted driving takes place any time a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the primary task of driving. “Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing,” Distraction.gov notes. As that site reports elsewhere, drivers who are young are at the greatest risk; 16% of all distracted driving accidents involve drivers under 20. Car accidents are the main cause of death for American teens, the site reports.
Kelly K. Browning, executive director for Impact Teen Driving, told FoxNews that two-thirds of teen passenger deaths happen in a car driven by another teenager. Too often, passengers become yet one more distraction for teen drivers, as in Kendall Jenner’s video, Browning told FoxNews.com.
As Ellisha Rader Mannering writes for WebProNews.com, Jason Epstein, a lawyer and the founder of Teens Against Distracted Driving, said that Jenner (who is the daughter of Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian) needs to apologize. Mannering quotes Epstein:
‘If I were advising Jenner, I would think that the morally responsible thing to do would be to do some sort of outreach to say it[‘]s a mistake, and it[‘]s not how people should be driving, and driving is dangerous, and I wasn’t demonstrating safe behavior, and I promise to do better in the future.’
What can parents do to keep their children from idolizing a celebrity’s bad behavior? Caroline Knorr has some suggestions in her article “When Good Role Models Go Bad” on CommonSenseMedia.org. She writes that the media can “glamorize bad behavior to the point that kids fantasize about doing — or even acting out — a star’s misdeeds.” Kerr advises parents to listen to what their children have to say about the headline-making behavior, in order to determine what to tell them — and to use that as a teachable moment. For teens especially, ask them questions, she writes, such as what they think of the behavior, and then point out the possible consequences.
Image by Georges Biard