Are You A Good Driver? Ask Your Teenager!!!!

Submitted Thu, 11/29/2012 - 6:58am by BossFrog

We have good news and we have bad news. The bad news is teenagers text while driving more than parents think they do. But the good news is parents have a lot of influence on how their teens drive, according to preliminary findings of a study by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The survey found that teens who think their parents are distracted drivers – texting, talking on the cell phone, eating while driving, looking for things, or focusing on passengers and passenger behavior – are much more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors themselves. A slight majority of parents as well as teens use hand-held cell phones while driving – 61% of parents report they do, while 54% of teens do. But parents still underestimate how much teens text behind the wheel. According to the study, 26% of teens read or send a text message from a smartphone at least once every time they drive, whereas only 1% of parents believe their teen does the same. Even more alarming, 20% of teens admit to extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. Other findings:

  • If a teen thinks his or her parent look for things in the vehicle while driving, the teen is four times more likely to also look for something while driving, compared with a teen who does not believe their parent does this at all.

  • Teens search for music on a portable music player, such as an iPod, four-and-a-half times more frequently than parents do while driving – 53% of teens say they do so, while just 12% of parents do.

  • 11% of teens say they update or check social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, while driving.

  • 69% of teens report driving with two or three teen passengers and no adults in their car, which is associated with a doubling of the driver’s risk of being killed in a crash.

  • 44% of teens admitted to driving with more than three teen passengers and no adults, which quadruples the driver’s risk of being killed.