Teens Mirror Parents Distracted Driving Habits: Survey By SEO Admin on September 21, 2012

Claims Journal-September 20, 2012-to the article a new survey finds that 66% of teens believe their parents follow different rules behind the wheel than they set for their young drivers

The survey by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) finds an alarming percentage of teens report their parents make poor and risky decisions while driving

According to more than 1,700 teens surveyed countrywide, dangerous driving behaviors among parents, while their teen is in the car, range from texting or speeding to driving without a seatbelt and even under the influence of alcohol. Even more concerning, surveyed teens repeat their parents poor driving habits in nearly equal amounts.

The survey found teens observe their parents exhibiting the following behavior at least occasionally: 91% talk on a cell phone while driving, 88%speed and 59% text message while driving. With teens reporting nearly half of parents have driven at least occasionally without a seatbelt, 20%under the influence of alcohol, and 7% under the influence of marijuana, the survey reveals parents may not be the best role models for their teens behind the wheel. This, despite teens reporting in past Liberty Mutual/SADD research that parents are their primary driving influence.

Given the high percentage of teens who report their parents engage in unsafe driving behavior while their teen is in the car, it follows that at least 66% of teen drivers report their parents live by different rules than the ones they expect of their teens. With so many parents not abiding by their own safe-driving rules of the road, a "do as I say, not as I do" policy may be undermining the parent/teen driving relationship.

Teen Driving Behavior

The distracted drivers http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2012/06/12/208316.htmbehavior reported by teens mirrors the poor driving habits of their parents in nearly equal amounts. Among the more than 1,700 teens surveyed, a high percentage report making poor decisions while driving. In fact, 90% of teens report talking on a cell phone while driving and 94% of teens speed (at least occasionally), with nearly half 47% of teens speeding often or very often. Nearly 80% of teens report sending text messages while driving, 16% have driven after using marijuana, 15% have driven under the influence of alcohol and 33% report driving without a seatbelt.

The link between the observed and self-reported driving behaviors reveals parents are modeling destructive driving behavior, and their teens follow suit. The following is a side-by-side comparison of the survey data reported when teens were asked how frequently they engage, and witness their parents engaging, in the following behavior:

Liberty Mutual Insurance/SADD 2012 Teen Driving Survey

Parental Driving Behavior(observed by teens)

Teen Driving Behavior(self-reported)

Talk on a cell phone while driving






Text message



Drive without a seatbelt



Drive under the influence of alcohol



Drive under the influence of marijuana



Teens Can Impact Parents Behaviors

The new Liberty Mutual/SADD survey found that few teens will speak up and ask a parent to stop engaging in distracting behaviors while driving. For example, only 21 percent of teens say they would ask their parents to stop driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, when teens do speak up, nearly 70% report their parents listen and change their poor driving behavior.

Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD

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