Data from a survey of 1,700 youths that is jointly funded by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) show most kids learn bad driving habits from their parents. The youth drivers who participated in the survey ranged in age from 16 to 19 years old.
Majority of the surveyed youths admitted making poor decisions and engaging in distracted and dangerous behaviour behind the wheel: 90 percent admit talking on their cell phones while on the road and an astounding 94 percent admit regularly going over speed limits. Most of the teen drivers say they take their cue from well-meaning parents who implore them to ‘do as I say, not as I do’ but are often seen by the teens doing the same distracted and dangerous driving practices.
Often, kids begin to observe how their parents behave behind the wheel and how they make driving decisions once they are big enough to see over the dashboard. Parents may see nothing wrong about reading a text message while waiting for the green light or answering a call for a few seconds while driving, but children in an impressionable age typically interpret such action in a different way – as acceptable behavior. ”These findings highlight the need for parents to realize how their teens perceive their actions,” said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert.
Moreover, most of the kids typically seldom say anything when they notice parents’ bad or dangerous driving: only 21 percent of the respondents in the study declared they would ask a parent not to drive when under the influence of alcohol.
Data from Center for Disease Control show teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in vehicular accidents and the latter is the leading cause of teen deaths in the US.