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Have a bad teen driver? New study finds parents and teens engage in same driving behaviors

October 28, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

Now is a great time to start setting a safe example for your kids behind the wheel

When it comes to risky teen driving behavior, your teen isn’t the only one to blame. According to the latest data released from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), you may bear a lot of the blame yourself.

The study  shows that parents engage in many of the very same dangerous driving behaviors – including driving without a seat belt, texting and driving and consuming alcohol – that they warn their children against.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Ask any parent of a teenager, and that type of advice-giving has never worked out very well.

Although this year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week has come and gone, it’s still a good time to begin setting the right example for your teen drivers. They are watching you after all.

Here are the dangerous and illegal driving behaviors parents admitted to in the survey:

  • Talking on cell phone while driving: 86%;
  • Speeding: 80%;
  • Texting and driving: 40%;
  • Driving after consuming alcohol: 34%;
  • Driving without a seat belt: 21%.

Here’s the best part of the study: A whopping 83% of teens say their parents engage in such unsafe driving behaviors with them in the car – and ignore their teens when they are asked to stop.

On a related note, here’s a blog post I wrote about how to talk to your teen about distracted driving, “Top 5 rules to keep you teen drivers safe.”

Remember, teens learn from you, whether you want them to or not. It’s time to stop engaging in dangerous driving behaviors.

About the study: Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD commissioned ORC International to conduct a study on teen driving attitudes and behaviors. A series of focus groups were tested in Philadelphia and Dallas May 29 – May 30, 2013, followed by a survey of 2,537 juniors and seniors from across the country.

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