SADD: Parents Not Setting the Right Example

One of the easiest ways to get through to teens about dangerous driving habits is to lead by example. According to new survey, many parents are dropping the ball despite research from Students Against Destructive Decisions that indicates parents are the No. 1 influence on teen behavior.

SADD and Liberty Mutual Insurance polled more than 1,700 11th- and 12th-graders throughout the country, and the results of the survey illustrate a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality:

  • 66% of teens said their parents follow different rules behind the wheel than they set for their children.
  • 88% said their parents speed.
  • 91 % reported that their parents talk on their phones while driving.
  • 59% of their parents text while driving.
  • 47% of their parents occasionally drive without wearing a seat belt.
"These findings highlight the need for parents to realize how their teens perceive their actions. Kids are always observing the decisions parents make behind the wheel and may see unsafe driving as acceptable," Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and its managing director of global safety, said in a statement.

Since it's National Teen Driver Safety Week, Liberty and SADD encourage parents and teens to talk about safe driving habits and sign a contract, so the expectations are clear on both sides of the conversation. Click here to download one.

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