Survey Finds Parents in Denial About Teens Distracted Driving

Jim Liebelt

From texting and checking social media to changing music and talking with friends, teens admit to driving distracted at a much higher rate than their parents realize, a recent nationwide survey shows.

The survey, commissioned by Bridgestone Americas, found that parents significantly underestimated the driving distractions in which their teen engages. Teens are almost 25 percent more likely to engage in common distractions, such as socializing with passengers, and talking on cell phones than their parents assume.  For instance, almost 85 percent of teens admit to driving distracted because they were socializing with passengers, yet only 59 percent of parents suspect that their teen driver has been distracted by passengers in the car.

The tire manufacturer surveyed more than 2,000 parents of teen drivers and found:

• Only 39 percent of parents think their teen driver talks on the phone while driving, yet half of all young drivers admit to doing so.

• A quarter of parents believe their young driver texts behind the wheel, although twice that number of teens admit to texting and driving.

"What we're seeing is that parents misjudge how prevalent many of these distracted driving behaviors are and how often their child participates in these activities," said Angela Patterson, Manager, Teens Drive Smart Program, Bridgestone Americas. "Not only are teens engaging in these behaviors more than they know, teens are actually picking up these distracted driving behaviors from their parents."

Source: Digital Journal