Rebecca Bernard
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Are Teen Drivers As Safe As Their Parents Think?

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Happy Teen, Terrified Mom

If you ask any teenager with a driver’s license if they are safe behind the wheel, many of them would be quick to assure you that they are. A recent study by the combined forces of Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Driving (SADD) found that of 1,622 11th and 12th graders surveyed, 89% of them consider themselves safe drivers. Participants were then asked more specific questions to form a complete picture of their driving habits. The worst part of this study, though, is that the surveyed parents of these teens have no idea how their children behave on the road.

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A majority of the young drivers, 81%, said that they thought aggressive driving was dangerous. When asked if they had an aggressive driving style, 36% admitted to it. For the purposes of this study, aggressive driving follows the NHTSA’s definition as “an individual committing a combination of moving traffic offenses, such as driving above the speed limit and cutting off other drivers”.  When later asked if they have ever experienced road rage or retaliated against another driver when provoked, 31% of the teens said that they had.

When the participants’ parents were questioned about the teens’ driving habits, only 16% of parents thought their children were aggressive drivers, and 13% thought their teens had committed acts of road rage. That large discrepancy between what parents think their children do behind the wheel and what actually happens is alarming. More questions in the survey show the disconnect between parents and their teens. For instance, only 40% of parents think that their young drivers have three or more passengers in the car, while 68% of teens admit to doing it.

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Check out the complete infographic from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD below.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Infographic

While it’s impossible to know everything that happens behind the wheel of a teen’s car, parents need to work hard to teach their children how to behave while driving. Parents also need to be aware that when they commit acts of road rage, or speed, they are setting the example for anyone in the car with them.

News Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance