Practice What You Preach!

Survey Shows Teens Exhibit Similar Driving Habits as Parents
The thought of having a first time driver on the road can make many parents cringe. However, with all the safety advice parents are giving young drivers, they may actually be unknowingly contributing to teens’ risky driving behaviors by not practicing what they preach.

In the attempt to help reduce teen driver vehicle crashes, the number one killer of U.S. teens, State Farm conducted a national survey to learn more about how parents approach their driver’s education roles. The findings are important because State Farm Claims data from the past five years show that October averages the highest number of teen auto insurance claims.

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According to State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, an increase in the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver claims involving injury or collision can be expected to jump nearly 20 percent in October as compared to other months.

65 percent of parents talk on cell phones at least sometimes while driving; however 94 percent restrict their teens from doing the same
68 percent of parents drive when they are in a hurry
65 percent of parents sometimes drive when they are tired
“We are asking parents to be aware that their teens are watching and learning from their behaviors,” said Laurette Stiles, vice president of Strategic Resources for State Farm. “State Farm is committed to working with parents to ensure their teens develop safe, smart driving behaviors.”

The survey also found parents would like more information or advice on subjects including distractions, nighttime driving, road rage, and drunk driving when teaching teen how to drive.

To ensure parents are equipped with the right tips and tools as they assist their teens with learning to drive, State Farm has created an interactive Facebook page devoted to teen driver safety. Parents who join the page can learn ways to help their teens navigate the road and share safe driving tips with other parents. Parents can go to Facebook for more details about the teen driver safety page.

Stiles said State Farm will join Congress in support of National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 19-25, to encourage parents, as well as young drivers, lawmakers and educators to work together to change risky driving behaviors and help save lives.

The parent survey is a follow-up to the 2007 National Young Driver Survey, conducted by State Farm and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) , which examined driving through the eyes of teens and found that they drive under dangerous conditions—while fatigued, talking on cell phones, and with multiple passengers.

89 percent of teens said they see their peers talking on cell phones while driving at least sometimes
91 percent of teens see their peers driving in a hurry at least sometimes
75 percent of teens said they see their peers drive when they are tired at least sometimes
For more information on the National Young Driver Surveys visit State Farm Insurance or The Children’s Hospital of Philidelphia.

Sources: State Farm Insurance