Do As I Say, Not As I Do – Setting a Good Example for New Drivers

L0-01Think you’re an excellent role model for teen drivers? A new survey on distracted driving indicates that parents need to focus more on paying attention to their driving behavior, because their teenage passengers are watching closely. Not only that, but the teens surveyed said they were picking up on their parent’s bad habits behind the wheel.

The survey results from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD involved a group of 1,700 11th and 12th graders and found that these teens witnessed frequent, dangerous driving behavior by their parents.

  • 90% of teens report observing their parents talking on a cell phone while driving.
  • 88% of teens report witnessing their parents speeding.
  • 59% of teens reported seeing their parents send a text message behind the wheel.

Parents are one of the main driving influences for their children, so these behaviors may rub off on new young drivers. For example, 90% of the teens surveyed also self-reported that they talk on their cell phones while driving. With many parents not abiding by their own safe-driving rules, a “do as I say, not as I do” approach may be undermining the parent/teen driving relationship.

Parents, remind your teen that driving is a serious responsibility. Discuss safe driving habits and set ground rules for when they are behind the wheel, and then follow through and abide by those ground rules yourself. Teens, remember that driving is a privilege and a responsibility. Regardless of the behavior of other drivers, you must be responsible for your actions and follow the rules of the road.

Do you agree that teens may be influenced by their parents driving habits? Do you think parents should make an effort to practice safe driving habits around the teenage drivers in their family?

Resources

© 2013 GDL Institute.org

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